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Effective solutions for periodontal disease

In some form or another, periodontal disease affects many people in the United States.  It can range from a simple inflammation of the gums to much more serious problems that cause major damage to gums, teeth and bones in the facial region.

At Douglas Family Dentistry, we know that how you address the issues associated with periodontal disease will determine how much or how little damage occurs to your teeth and gums.  Once identified, it is important to be aggressive in treating this kind of infection to minimize problems.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that is found in everyone’s mouth.  The bacteria joins with mucus to form a sticky plaque on teeth that must be brushed or flossed away to control the build-up.  When plaque is not removed, it hardens and forms tartar, which brushing will not remove.

When plaque and tartar are not removed for long periods of time, they create an inflammation called gingivitis.  Gums turn red and swollen, and can bleed easily as a result.  Normally, gingivitis can be reversed with attentive brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist.

But when gingivitis is not treated effectively, it worsens and can turn into periodontitis.  When this happens, gums separate from the teeth and the formed pockets become infected.  The toxins that are created break down the bone and connecting tissue that holds the teeth in place.  Severe damage, including the loss of teeth, can result.

At Douglas Family Dentistry, when we treat a patient for periodontal disease, we check for risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, certain medications that impact the flow of saliva, illnesses such as AIDS that can impact gums, and if periodontal disease is part of a person’s genetic make-up.

From this, we develop a treatment plan that will involve modifying risk factors when possible. It may include a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planning, and in some instances, surgery, depending on how far the disease has progressed.

Located at 10630 North Scottsdale Road, Douglas Family Dentistryserves families in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale and surrounding Arizona communities.  For appointments and more information, call the office at (480) 948-3680.