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Periodontal Therapy

Encompassing a range of treatments all aimed at combating gum disease and restoring oral health, periodontal therapy is only recommended if our Largo, FL, dentist feels that it is truly necessary for your smile. We will use this approach to reduce gum inflammation, improve gum attachment, and stabilize tooth placement while also addressing any present infection. If your condition is severe, surgery may be needed to regenerate lost bone and tissue. 

Here’s what you need to know about gum disease treatment.

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How Do I Know I Have Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, typically progresses silently, often without pain, making it difficult to detect without a professional evaluation. However, there are signs that can indicate the presence of gum disease. Those include:

  • Bleeding Gums: This can happen during brushing or flossing.
  • Red, Swollen, or Tender Gums: Healthy gums are firm and pale pink. If your gums are red, swollen, or sensitive, this can be cause for concern.
  • Bad Breath or Taste: A persistent bad odor or taste in your mouth can be a sign of accumulating bacteria under the gum line.
  • Receding Gums: If your teeth look longer than normal, it could be a result of your gums receding.
  • Loose Teeth: Advanced gum disease can lead to tooth mobility or loss as the support structures of the teeth are damaged.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to reach out to our Largo, FL, dental office as early intervention can prevent further complications and loss of teeth.

Treating Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis

Gum disease presents itself in two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis, each requiring different treatment approaches. Gingivitis, the initial and milder form of gum disease, is characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing or flossing. 

Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible with appropriate intervention. Treatment typically focuses on thorough professional teeth cleanings coupled with enhanced oral hygiene practices at home, such as regular brushing, flossing, and use of a mouthwash.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which is more severe. During this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. The treatment for periodontitis is more complex and aims to clean the pockets around teeth and prevent damage to the surrounding bone. 

A common procedure for this is scaling and root planing—a deep-cleaning method that scrapes away plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, and smooths rough spots on tooth roots where germs gather. This helps remove bacteria and provides a clean surface to help the gums reattach to the teeth. In some cases, antibiotics or antimicrobial medications may also be prescribed to help control the infection and promote healing.

Make an Appointment With Dr. Piper

If you suspect you have gum disease or if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, don’t hesitate to request an appointment with our dentist in Largo, FL. Early detection and treatment are crucial in managing gum disease and maintaining your oral and overall health. Call or text David W. Piper, DMD Family Dentistry today at (727) 548-7100 or feel free to contact us online.