A healthy oral framework is equally important for your smile as bright, healthy teeth. It is vital that you maintain and preserve the health of your gums through regular dental cleanings and checkups. If left untreated, bacterial buildup can lead to periodontal disease and severe consequences, including puffy, bleeding gums, and eventual tooth loss. Dr. Thomas G. Zarger offers gentle and effective periodontal care for gum disease at his Knoxville, TN, practice. He can protect your oral health with procedures such as scaling and root planing, to prevent and treat the condition.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Poor dental hygiene habits, genetics, and other factors can lead to plaque formation, which can cause dental decay and gum disease. The first stage of periodontal or gum disease is called gingivitis, which is characterized by inflamed, red, or bleeding gums. If caught in the early stages, gingivitis can be quickly treated, and its effects can be reversed.
Healthy gums are the cornerstone of an aesthetic smile and lasting oral health, and at Dr. Zarger's dental office, we prioritize preventive dental care for your family.
However, untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which occurs when the plaque spread below the gum line, and infect the tissues that support the teeth. The plaque growth causes the gums to inflame and swell, eventually forming 'pockets' when the gums become detached from tooth roots. Plaque buildup is even more rapid in these pockets, and can lead to tooth loss. Your periodontal health is often reflective of your overall health. Some forms of periodontitis have been linked with systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, leukemia, and more.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease may not always have outward symptoms. However, some common signs include:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Foul breath
- Dental abscesses
- Pain in the gums
- Loose teeth
- Gum recession
We offer non-surgical deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, to remove dental plaque and its byproducts from above and below the gum line. This procedure also smooths the roots of teeth, thus minimizing the risk of future bacterial accumulation. Depending on the extent of your condition, it generally takes two to four office visits to effectively complete scaling and root planing. More advanced stages of gum disease may require surgical intervention to remove plaque and biofilm, thus reducing the gum pockets and allowing the body to regenerate healthy tissues. This procedure is generally offered by a periodontal specialist.
Dr. Zarger offers dental care for the entire family at his practice, and prioritizes patient education. Regular checkups and cleaning are preventive measures that can protect your smile and prevent the need for expensive corrective treatments in the future. This is the most important and crucial step in preserving your gum health.
Protecting Your Gum and Overall Oral Health
Healthy gums are the cornerstone of an aesthetic smile and lasting oral health, and at Dr. Zarger's dental office, we prioritize preventive dental care for your family. If you have been experiencing any of the warning signs of gum disease, contact us to schedule a consultation.