Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation in the gums, which can cause critical damage to your oral health. There are several stages of periodontal disease that range from mild to severe. The first phase of gingivitis is brought on by plaque and bacterial buildup around the gumline. If not treated, gingivitis may progress into the second stage, called periodontitis, which impacts the bone and fibers that help hold your teeth in place. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of periodontal disease, a condition that causes further bone damage and loose teeth and may result in tooth loss. To treat periodontal disease, Wollaston Dental Group offers a nonsurgical scaling and root planing and partners with skilled periodontists if surgical care is needed. Periodontal disease is a serious oral problem that will not heal on its own. If you have signs of periodontal infection, contact our office in Quincy, MA to schedule an exam with general dentist Dr. James McDonough.
Gum disease may be difficult to detect on your own, which is why it is very important to schedule routine dental cleaning and exam visits at Wollaston Dental Group. This gives Dr. McDonough and our dental hygienists an opportunity to screen for this common oral disease and address the problem before it further impacts your oral and general health. With periodontal disease, plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria typically accumulate beneath the gums, irritating the tissues and exacerbating the condition. Gum disease signs and symptoms commonly include:
- Puffy or red gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Pus around the gums and teeth
- Receding gum tissues
- Persistent bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Deep periodontal pockets
- Jawbone loss
Periodontal disease cannot be cured, but it can be controlled and managed with proper professional treatment and healthy oral hygiene habits at home.
What to Expect
To diagnose gum disease, our team will measure the spaces between your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets), perform a clinical evaluation, and assess the level of bone around your teeth as visible on your x-rays. If Dr. McDonough determines that you have gum disease, he will discuss the appropriate type of procedure based on the severity of your condition. Gingivitis is typically treated with a thorough cleaning (prophylaxis) and improvement with home care efforts. When the disease is in the periodontitis state, nonsurgical scaling and root planing (SRP) is typically recommended to clean out the plaque and tartar deep below your gumline. For advanced cases periodontitis, Dr. McDonough may refer to you to a periodontal specialist for a surgical procedure to restore your periodontal health and stop the progression of the disease.
The recovery time following gum disease treatment will vary, according to the stage of the condition and your treatment program. To completely treat your periodontal infection, your care may take place over the course of several appointments at Wollaston Dental Group. After the disease is arrested and your gum health restored, it is important to maintain good home care habits and schedule periodontal maintenance cleaning appointments on a four-month basis. Periodontal maintenance services take the place of routine, biannual prophylaxis visits and are key to keeping your gum disease from progressing and further affecting your health.
Coverage for gum disease therapy will vary, depending on the severity of the condition, as well as the procedure required. To determine if periodontal treatment is a covered benefit, one of our billing specialists will contact your insurance provider to review your plan specifics and calculate any out-of-pocket expenses. Wollaston Dental Group wants every patient to get the care needed for periodontal health and wellness. If you have personal costs, talk to our team to review convenient payment options and find out about low-interest financing through CareCredit® plans.
Gum disease is a progressive oral problem that will only worsen without proper care. To protect your oral health, general well-being, and beautiful smile, contact Wollaston Dental Group at the first sign of a periodontal problem. Learn more about gum disease and your options for treatment by scheduling a consultation with Dr. McDonough in our Quincy, MA practice.