Gum disease is a serious infection of the gum tissues that can progress to affect the bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease is most often caused by an element known as plaque. Plaque is best described as a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Plaque irritates the gum tissues, causing them to become red, swollen, and susceptible to bleeding. If plaque is not regularly removed, it can harden into tartar, which leads to further irritation and inflammation. Left untreated, gum disease will damage the gums, bones, and other tissues supporting the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. Dr. Eric Wiitala and his team in Scottsdale, Arizona work with patients to help them achieve healthier smiles after a diagnosis of gum disease.
How will my dentist treat my gum disease?
When you visit Dr. Eric Wiitala, you will often learn about the various ways gum disease or periodontal disease may be treated. Below are just a few of the top recommendations that may be made:
- Deep cleaning. The earlier stages of gum disease can often be improved with a deep dental cleaning. These cleanings are more effective than a simple cleaning performed every six months by our dental hygienists. Some patients may have been told that scaling and root planing is the most effective way to remove plaque buildup on the teeth, while, at the same time, reducing the bacteria in the mouth that is contributing to inflammation and infection.
- Gingivectomy. Periodontal surgery, such as a gingivectomy, is used to remove diseased gum tissue. This soft tissue treatment may be performed by Dr. Eric Wiitala or by a periodontist in the area who is recommended by our professionals.
- Pocket reduction surgery. Another treatment for gum disease is pocket reduction surgery. Pockets often form between the teeth and gums and can harbor bacteria that can lead to shrinking gum tissue, lost bone, and even lost teeth.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Proper oral health care is where it’s at! If you are looking to protect your smile from the damage caused by periodontal disease, it is vital that you work with Dr. Eric Wiitala to develop an appropriate treatment plan for your smile. Call 480-657-6981 to request an appointment at his Scottsdale, AZ, area practice.