Periodontal Care

Treatment for Gum Disease in Pflugerville

Gum or periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that starts as inflammation caused by plaque buildup. Plaque can build up in the mouth if food particles are not thoroughly removed through brushing and flossing, and will eventually harden into tartar. Getting periodontal care from a trusted dental office like Pflugerville Family Dentistry is critical to protect your oral health. 

While plaque is difficult to remove at home, tartar cannot be removed without a professional dentist’s tools. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, where a buildup of plaque leads to inflamed gums that may be swollen and bleeding. Gingivitis is reversible but may go undetected due to its mild symptoms.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into periodontitis, which causes irreversible damage to soft tissue and bone loss. As the disease progresses, you are at a higher risk of losing teeth due to gum recession and bone loss.

Gum disease patient

Signs You May Have Gum Disease

There are many symptoms of gum disease depending on the stage. The earlier you catch gum disease the better because it is only reversible in the earliest stage. To find out if you have gum disease, Dr. Chris Mun will measure the depth of your gum pockets with a dental probe. 

Gum pocket depths greater than 3mm indicate possible gingivitis and depths greater than 5 mm indicate periodontitis. This is why regular cleanings and checkups are so important. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you could have gum disease:

  • Bad taste or breath
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum recession
  • Tenderness or pain in the gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Deep gum pockets
  • Changes in your bite

Periodontal Treatments We Offer in Pflugerville

Traditional Cleaning (Gingivitis) – In the earliest stage of gum disease, a traditional dental cleaning can be enough to reverse the infection. At this stage, no bone loss or tissue damage has occurred. 

You will also need to thoroughly brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day to ensure that plaque does not build up again. A traditional cleaning can get rid of gingivitis by removing tartar with a scaler along the gumline.

Deep Cleaning (Scaling & Root Planing) – Once you have developed periodontitis, regular dental cleanings will not be enough to treat it. For mild to moderate periodontitis, a deep cleaning needs to be performed. Deep cleaning is another name for scaling and root planing. 

The scaling portion of the deep cleaning consists of scraping off plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. The depths of your gum pockets are thoroughly cleaned during this treatment. Root planing is when your tooth’s roots are smoothed out to get rid of rough surfaces and bacteria, and to make it easier to reattach the gums. Scaling and root planing is done in small sections and may take two appointments to complete.

Why is Periodontal Care Important?

Periodontal care is so important because gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene. When patients slack on brushing and flossing and don’t visit the dentist often enough for cleanings and checkups, plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line and lead to inflammation of the gums. 

If you don’t attend dental appointments every 6 months, gingivitis can go undetected and your body’s immune response to the infection results in bone and tissue destruction that can result in the loss of multiple teeth. 

Gum disease is entirely preventable if you practice good oral hygiene and consistently get dental cleanings and checkups. At your routine dental cleaning, we remove plaque so it doesn’t accumulate and lead to gum disease. 

We also perform an oral exam to look for signs of gum disease. These preventative measures can save you a lot of time and money but most importantly, they can save your teeth and gums. To schedule your next appointment with Dr. Chris Mun at Pflugerville Family Dentistry, contact us today.