Some people mistakenly believe that gum disease is a condition that primarily affects adults. Although periodontal (gum) disease is a very common ailment among middle-aged and retirement-aged patients, children and adolescents can develop this condition, too. For advanced or complex cases of gum disease, dentists typically refer patients to periodontists—dentists who have additional education and training to treat diseases that affect gums.
What is gum disease?
Simply put, gum disease is infected and inflamed gum tissue. In its early stages, gingivitis, gum disease is most often remedied by practicing proper oral hygiene that includes daily flossing and twice-daily brushing with toothpaste along with receiving professional cleanings as recommended by a dentist. When gum disease advances, a patient’s oral health is at serious risk for further complications including tooth loss, tissue atrophy, and systemic bacterial infections.
What causes gum disease?
While improper or inadequate oral hygiene is a major cause behind gum disease, other factors can affect periodontal health. Inadequate oral hygiene leads to the development of tartar buildup, a form of plaque hardened by calculus. Only dental professionals can remove tartar and when this substance builds up along the gum line, it will inflame gum tissue causing it to recede from the teeth.
Other factors that contribute to gum disease include hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause along with other health conditions like diabetes. Sometimes medications like antihistamines can contribute to the development of periodontal disease, too.
How can a periodontist help?
Our periodontist is trained to treat all stages of gum disease for patients of all ages. Depending on the needs of the patient, treatment can involve procedures to remove infected tissue, deep cleanings that remove tartar below the gum line, soft tissue grafting procedures, and prescription medications.
When treating periodontal disease, our team strives to ensure patient comfort with medication and sedatives when necessary.
Call us at 214-522-9700 to schedule a consultation with our experienced and caring periodontist.