Did you know that gum disease–also known as periodontal disease–is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults? Fortunately, a comprehensive gum disease evaluation with a trusted Lakewood dentist could save your gums, teeth, and smile from permanent damage.
At Lakewood Dental Group, our skilled dentists in Dallas, TX, are expertly trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients living with mild to severe gum disease. With preventive solutions and effective treatment options, Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel can help you get the healthy, beautiful smile that you deserve.
What is a gum disease evaluation?
A gum disease evaluation is a normal part of a routine dental checkup and cleaning. Of course, noticeably red, bloody, or irritated gums are a telltale sign of gum disease. But, we also assess the spacing–or periodontal pockets–around teeth for signs of periodontal disease by measuring them with a dental probe.
The depth of periodontal pockets is a key indicator of gum disease. Deep periodontal pockets are more likely to host disease-causing bacteria that lead to severe gum disease, infections, and tooth loss. Healthy periodontal pockets will be no deeper than three millimeters, but pockets deeper than four millimeters typically indicates advancing periodontal disease.
How is gum disease treated?
The beginning phase of gum disease–known as gingivitis–can be reversed with a thorough dental cleaning and good oral hygiene. However, advanced gum disease may require more complex treatments.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling is a process in which our team can use an ultrasonic dental tool to remove stubborn tartar and bacteria from teeth above and below the gumline. Root planing discourages further tartar and bacterial buildup by smoothing the root surfaces of teeth.
Together, scaling and root planing wash away impurities and harmful microbes. This allows gum tissue to heal, which effectively reduces the depth of periodontal pockets.
In some cases, Dr. Sigurdson and Dr. Patel may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic to get a bacterial infection in the gums under control. A topical antibiotic may include a mouthwash or gel to deeply penetrate periodontal pockets after a thorough scaling and root planing treatment.
However, some patients may require oral antibiotics to completely eliminate the infection. Patients should carefully follow the instructions on the label and finish the entire prescription.
How can I prevent gum disease?
There are many things that patients can do to prevent gum disease, including:
- Brushing after every meal or snack, or at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Replacing their toothbrush every three months
- Switching from a soft-bristled toothbrush to an electric toothbrush
- Using alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse bacteria from periodontal pockets
- Limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco products
- Visiting our Lakewood dentists at least every six months for a gum disease evaluation and dental cleaning
Schedule Your Gum Disease Evaluation Today
Don’t wait–schedule a gum disease evaluation with a skilled Lakewood dentist today. We can help you keep your gums healthy for a beautiful, disease-free smile.
New and existing patients can schedule an appointment online at our Dallas dental office or call (214) 827-1885.