According to the CDC, nearly half of all American adults have some form of gum disease. Just because it is common, however, does not mean it is acceptable to leave it untreated. At his Beaumont, TX office, Dr. Dave S. Carpenter provides multiple periodontal treatments to improve the ongoing health of his patients’ gums and teeth.
How People Get Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is most often the result of plaque buildup on your gums and teeth. Brushing and flossing go a long way toward preventing infection, though some people are at increased risk of gum disease due to malnutrition, misaligned teeth, a tobacco habit or genetics.
Signs You Have Gum Disease
The following symptoms are strong indicators that you have some stage of periodontal disease:
- Swollen gums
- Gums that are bright red or purple in color
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Chronic bad breath
- Gums that bleed easily, particularly when you floss or brush
- Teeth start to feel loose in your mouth
- Tooth sensitivity
Dr. Carpenter looks for these symptoms at every appointment. Should you notice any of these symptoms developing between checkups, schedule an appointment with Dr. Carpenter so that he can take a look. The earlier periodontal disease is caught, the easier it is to treat.
Scaling and Root Planing
For many patients with periodontal disease, Dr. Carpenter will recommend scaling and root planing, often referred to as a “deep cleaning.” Scaling, the first part of this two-step process, involves removing plaque trapped beneath the gum line — a spot that even brushing cannot reach. Afterwards, your dentist will perform root planing, which means smoothing out the roots of your tooth so that your gums can more closely remerge with the tooth, leaving less of a gap for bacteria to get caught in.
In the event that scaling and root planing are insufficient to address your periodontal disease, Dr. Carpenter will walk you through surgical interventions such as flap surgery, where your gums are lifted to remove the existing plaque buildup and — if necessary — perform a bone graft to reinforce your teeth in an effort to prevent tooth loss. Tissue grafting is another option to replace eroding gums and better protect the roots of your teeth.
Developing a Treatment Plan
Because precise treatments will vary from individual to individual, it is important that you enlist the services of a highly skilled dentist like Dr. Carpenter, who knows what methods to employ, depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. It is important to take action since untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss and increase your risk for other major health issues like heart disease, respiratory conditions and rheumatoid arthritis.
The great news is that with proper intervention, including a renewed commitment to good oral health that includes flossing once and brushing twice per day, gum disease is often reversible. Get your gums back on track by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Carpenter by filling out this online form or calling (409) 898-4300.