Finding Affordable Periodontal Treatment in Houston

Gum disease, known in the dental field as periodontal disease, is a very serious affliction of the gums that can ultimately lead to painful gums, tooth loss, and bone infections if left untreated.

Periodontitis can be prevented with proper hygiene and oral care, but if it does develop, you are not without help. A skilled Houston dentist can treat the problem and send you home with the means to stave off the infection and get back to normal.

Severity Level

Periodontitis is the second of three levels for periodontal disease.

Level 1: The first level is gingivitis, which is usually a nuisance, but doesn’t otherwise affect the patient on a grand scale.

Level 2: Once gingivitis advances, or is skipped entirely at times, periodontitis poses a more serious threat. At this stage, the gums can become tender to the touch and discolored, pus may be seen around the gums, and teeth may become separated from their neighbors or become loose.

Level 3: The next stage of periodontitis, advanced periodontitis, poses even greater risks, such as losing teeth and having an infection in the jawbone.

Risks, Causes, and Symptoms

There are certain factors that can affect the development of gum disease:

●     Carcinogens and toxins found in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products increase the risk of periodontal disease and lung or mouth cancer.

●     Weakened immune systems of diabetics.

●     The greatest, most common risk, however, comes from poor oral hygiene habits. Taking good care of your teeth will do a lot more than make them look good; it can very well prevent diseases.

The actual cause of periodontitis is the hardening of plaque at the gum line to form tartar. This denser form of plaque is home to a whole colony of bacteria that looks for a new food source: the soft tissue of the gums.

Ultimately, this infestation leads to an infection, which becomes periodontitis.      

The earliest symptoms of gum disease you might notice are those of gingivitis: swollen or bleeding gums. With great care, you can reverse the course of gum disease at this stage, but leaving it untouched can cause it to progress.

When the gums become a bright red or purple color, become swollen and tender, and have a perpetual bad breath even after brushing, they’ve reached the stage of periodontitis. In more severe cases, you might also notice loose teeth, a space developing between teeth, or pus.

Periodontal Disease Treatment in Houston

●     A visual examination is performed at our Tanglewood dentist office to determine the extent of the gum disease.

●     A dental probe checks for pocket depth under the gums. Shallow pockets mean healthy gums while deep pockets signify infection.

●     If deep pockets are found, x-ray imaging checks the inside of gums and the surrounding bones and teeth.

●     In minor to moderate cases of periodontal disease, we perform scaling to scrape the hardened tartar from the teeth and under the gums.

     This process can be uncomfortable, but with sedation dentistry reduces the amount of discomfort felt during the procedure.

●     In more severe cases, root planning is also used. This procedure smooth’s out the roots of the teeth to reduce the area where bacteria can cling and cause further infection.

●    Lastly, an antibiotic may be prescribed to kill off any remaining infection.