Periodontal Disease Treatment

More Americans lose teeth to periodontal disease than they do to decay. We can increase your chances of keeping your teeth, slowing the advance of gum disease and restoring health and strength to your teeth, gums, and underlying jawbone.

Get periodontal disease treatment from your Kerrville family dentist. To stop the progression of gum disease, Dr. Butler offers scaling and root planing, as well as LANAP laser therapy. Schedule your treatment today!

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More Americans lose teeth due to periodontal disease every year than lose teeth due to cavities. Periodontal treatment at our family dental practice in Kerrville can successfully treat gum disease, halt its progression, and safeguard your teeth.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal, or gum, disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue has a v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. When bacteria exists in this space below the gumline, it can cause infection and damage to the connective tissues. Over time, sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the more severe the gum disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.

Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.

Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal disease, including:

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as certain forms of steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, or calcium channel blockers
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives

Warning signs that periodontal disease has started to progress include:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums, or gums that bleed easily
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating from the gums
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

However, it is possible to have periodontal disease and show no warning signs, which is why it is so important to make and keep regular appointments twice per year with your family dentist.

What does Periodontal Treatment Involve?

There are two treatments commonly performed to treat periodontal disease.

  • Scaling and root planing is the most common and conservative form of treatment for gum disease. Scaling is the removal of calculus (commonly called tartar) and plaque that attach themselves to the tooth surfaces. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Plaque is more likely to stick to rough surfaces. For this reason, scaling is followed by root planing, which removes any remaining calculus and smooths irregular areas of the root surface.
  • The Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) is a gum surgery designed to treat more advanced periodontitis. Local anesthesia is administered, and a short-duration laser pulse is used on the pockets around the patient’s afflicted teeth, which are probed to a depth of about a quarter of an inch. This destroys bacteria and pathologic proteins near the root; the connective tissue is preserved, while infected tissue is destroyed. Typically, two or three passes with the laser clears the infected pocket.

If you believe you may have periodontal disease, call our Kerrville general dentist’s office at (830) 257-4900 and schedule an appointment today!