Periodontal Therapy

Reclaim Your Smile with Periodontal Therapy

If you know you have periodontal disease or are concerned your gums aren’t as healthy as they could be, Harris Dental offers periodontal therapy to help you prevent further damage and reestablish your smile’s well-being.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a bacterial infection of the tissues that surround your teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Affecting over 50% of adults over 30, periodontal disease is usually caused when plaque accumulates along the gumline and hardens into tartar (also called dental calculus). Tartar is a hard, crusty, and unsightly deposit that constantly irritates your gum tissue, triggering inflammation and gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, an advanced form of periodontal disease. As the disease worsens, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth and form gaps between your roots and gums called pockets. Bacteria and food debris infiltrate these pockets, which can ultimately lead to the destruction of the tissues that hold your teeth in place and make your smile look and feel complete.

The long-term consequences of periodontal disease can be devastating. Untreated periodontal disease causes your gum tissue to recede and pull away from your teeth, which disfigures your smile’s appearance and undermines the stability of your teeth. Furthermore, periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults and is also associated with serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Potential Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Gums that bleed with brushing, flossing, or eating
  • Red, tender, swollen, or receding gums
  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

As the earliest stages of periodontal disease may not cause symptoms or discomfort, the best way to ensure your gums are healthy is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Harris.

Nonsurgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning of your teeth and the pockets that have resulted from periodontal disease. During scaling, your hygienist will carefully remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth all the way down to the bottom of each pocket. Once the pockets have been sanitized and debris has been removed from the roots of your teeth, your hygienist will smooth the surface of your roots (known as root planing) to prevent bacterial growth and to help your gums reattach to your teeth.

For your most comfortable treatment experience, scaling and root planing is typically performed under a local anesthetic and may take more than one visit to complete.

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment is a very common dental procedure that’s used to eliminate harmful bacteria from an infected tooth root, prevent tooth loss, and make your smile healthy again.