Periodontal Disease Treatment

Stop Periodontal Disease before it Happens

“Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to teeth. Periodontal disease is infection of the structures around your teeth. This includes your gums, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. The earliest stages of periodontal disease is called gingivitis, and only affects the gums. When the disease progresses it affects all the supporting tissues. The main culprit is bacteria found in dental plaque. Periodontal disease treatment is vital because it’s been linked to a variety of other health problems along with the silent painless loss of teeth.

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What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Bacteria in dental plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease. Plaque is that sticky substance that forms on your teeth after you have eaten food. Your immune system, attempting to get rid of the bacteria, release substances that inflame and damage your gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. The result is swollen, bleeding gums, the primary signs of gingivitis.

The buildup of plaque below the gum line leads to inflammation. As your gums swell, they detach from the root. This process forms a space, or “pocket,” between your tooth and gum – the perfect place for bacteria to grow.

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease?

The best ways to prevent periodontal disease is by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly. If you already have gum disease you may need to see the dentist more often until you eliminate the problem. 

How Scaling and Root Planing Help with Periodontal Disease

Scaling and Root Planing, more commonly called a deep cleaning, is vital to preventing periodontal disease.  Part of the deep cleaning process involves checking your pocket depth. Pocket depth refers to the area between the tooth and gum where bacteria will collect. Normal, healthy pockets will be no more than 3 millimeters deep. If your pockets are greater than 4 millimeters, Dr. Hemphill will prescribe a scaling and root planing appointment with the dental hygienists.

If you’re suffering from gum disease, scaling and root planing can help. This treatment involves numbing the gums to ensure you don’t feel pain. A special scraper is used to remove any build-up of debris, such as calculus deep in the pockets. Water is continually used to wash away the debris with a suction system.

After a deep cleaning, the bacteria in the pockets of the teeth will have been removed and in the coming weeks your gums should become healthier if you maintain proper daily oral hygiene practices. After 4-6 weeks after the treatment the gums should reattach to the tooth, thus decreasing the pocket. 

Benefits of Scaling include:

  • Treatment of gum disease
  • Prevention of tooth loss
  • Reduces problems with periodontal pockets
  • Helps reduce bad breath

Treatment for Advanced Periodontal Disease

If you’ve waited too long and your periodontal disease is in advanced stages more invasive treatment may be necessary.

  • Pocket Reduction Procedure – If your gum tissue is not attaching properly to your tooth after a deep cleaning you may be a candidate for pocket reduction flap surgery. Folding back the gum tissue, removing infectious bacteria, smoothing areas of damaged bone will allow your gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone and tooth.
  • Gum Grafts – Exposed roots due to gum recession can be covered with gum grafts. Gum tissues taken from your palate or from another source are used to cover the roots of one or more teeth. Covering exposed roots helps reduce sensitivity, prevents root decay, and decreases the appearance of having “long” teeth.
  • Regenerative Procedures – Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that promotes the growth of new bone in an area where bone has been destroyed by periodontal disease.

What Our Patients Say

  • patient-review
    West Hill Family Dental has been serving my entire family for 10 years. They have always been great and treat us like family. I will continue to use them because of the high level of care and comfortable atmosphere.
    Jim Barilla
  • patient-review
    Today was my first visit with West Hill Family dental. The staff was awesome! So warm and welcoming! I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. Melissa (hygienist) was awesome and very sweet. Dr. Hemphill was very personable. I am a nervous Nelly with the dentist but they really helped me feel comfortable.
    Nicole Sousa Ribeiro
  • Jorge Gallo
    "Going to the Dentist," isn't something most folks look forward to. Fortunately, the Team at West Hill Family Dental makes that experience an enjoyable event with a friendly, thoughtful and genuinely concerned approach to both routine care and one-off emergencies. The atmosphere is relaxed and positive; everything from scheduling to changes is accommodated with little fuss and a genuine enthusiasm to see you at the next opportunity. And the overall quality of care, execution and attention to customer needs are unmatched by most practices, and certainly by the cookie-cutter pop-ups that abound elsewhere. Highly recommended, family-oriented and very professional in every aspect of care and delivery - they're definitely on the list of recommendations to new residents and neighbors!
    Jorge Gallo
  • patient-review
    In the past I have had bad experiences with dentist and I have switch many times and I think I have finally found my forever home. Kim and Monica at the front desk are amazing they make sure that if you have any concerns, they will accommodate you in any way they can. They also socialize with you which makes visiting the dentist feel like visiting family. This is by far the best dentist I've ever been to and would recommend them to anyone.
    Ivy M.
  • patient-review
    Dr.Robert Hemphill and his staff are so friendly.I was very nervous to get my treatment done,doctor made me understand and kept me calm.I always walk out happy, feeling I have seen the BEST doctor who took care of my dental treatment.Kinga the dental assistant is so kind and helpful,Kim such a lovely person always smiling and happy,Monica is superb too, she calls and double confirms the appointment so that I don’t forget. Thank you once again.
    Savy Sri

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