Creating a foundation of strong dental health for our patients begins with healthy gums. At our Charlottesville, VA restorative dental practice, our professionals perform comfortable gum disease therapy (periodontal therapy). If you have gum disease and it goes untreated, you risk destruction of your gums, deterioration of your jawbone, and loss of your teeth. In fact, gum disease (periodontal disease) is the number one reason for tooth loss in American adults!
If you notice a yellowish film on your teeth, that’s plaque. Plaque is the result of bacterial colonization on your enamel. These oral bacteria feed on sugars in food, and then emit acids that decay your teeth and infect your gums. Brushing and flossing with fluoridated products every day breaks up these colonies and prevents decay and infection. Keeping a daily oral hygiene routine and visiting our Charlottesville dentist twice a year will ensure your continued good dental health.
However, more than 80% of Americans already have some form of gum disease. And 30% of the United States population is genetically predisposed toward periodontal infections. So, even if you take care of your teeth and attend regular check-ups, you may still get gum disease. Signs of gum disease include:
Please note that you may not have any signs or symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have it. So it’s very important to get your oral health regularly checked at our Charlottesville restorative dental practice. If you are diagnosed with gum disease, our well trained dental hygienists can perform deep cleanings, also called root scaling and planing, which removes calculus (hardened plaque) from your teeth.
When gum disease has progressed past the gingivitis stage, scaling and root planing a very effective option for removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Scaling is designed to remove this harden plaque, while root planing is designed to smooth out the tooth roots. This is meant to address gum recession directly and reduce the risk of an infection reappearing later. Treatments are needed every three to four months.
If gum therapy sounds like a difficult prospect, you’ll be happy to learn that Dr. Lippard makes use of a soft tissue laser to complete treatment. This technology helps clear away decayed and damaged tissue more precisely, therefore making it easier to preserve healthy gum tissue. Additionally, you can expect your post-op symptoms to be far more mild. Healing times are also reduced when you choose soft tissue laser therapy over traditional gum therapy methods.