An experienced dentist and fellow of the American College of Dentists, Robert Madden, DDS, MBA, operates Southwest Family Dentistry in Littleton, Colorado, near Denver, where he offers numerous treatments for periodontal disease. For detailed information about the periodontal treatments offered by Dr. Robert Madden, visit www.southwestfamilydentistry.com.
Periodontal, or gum, disease results when bacteria produce a colorless film called plaque on the teeth. If plaque is not effectively removed by brushing or flossing, it may eventually form tartar, a harder substance that can only be removed by a dental professional. If plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, they can lead to gum disease. Gum disease includes gingivitis, a mild form, as well as periodontitis, a more advanced, harmful condition that can cause serious damage to the tissues and bones that support the teeth. Symptoms of gum disease include continuous bad breath; swollen, tender, or bleeding gums; receding gums; painful chewing; and sensitive or loose teeth.
The nonsurgical treatment options for periodontal disease include scaling and root planing, deep-cleaning procedures that remove plaque and tartar from the root surfaces while helping smooth the root by eliminating bacteria. Dentists may also recommend medication or prescription mouthwashes after cleaning.
For more serious problems, surgical treatments may be utilized. During pocket reduction or flap surgery, the gums are drawn back and tartar is removed. The gums are then sutured securely around the tooth to help reduce pockets where bacteria may flourish. Dentists may also use bone or tissue grafts to help regenerate bone or tissue that has been lost to gum disease.