Periodontal Therapy in Harris County
Periodontal is a combination of the Latin words “perio” for around and “odont” for tooth. Thus, periodontics, periodontal therapy, and periodontists all deal with the tissues around the teeth. That includes gum tissue, jawbone, and the supportive alveolar bone. When disease, infection, inflammation, or destruction occurs in these tissues, a patient is said to suffer from periodontal disease, but most people refer to it by its more common name – gum disease. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, and this is another dental term many patients are familiar with. Caught in the early stages, gum disease can typically be treated with improved at-home hygiene and more frequent professional hygiene appointments. However, left untreated the relatively mild gingivitis can develop into the more severe form, periodontitis. This advanced form of gum disease has a number of adverse oral and overall health effects including:
- Persistent bleeding around teeth
- Inflammation or discoloration of gum tissue
- Halitosis, chronic bad breath
- Gum tissue recession (teeth that look longer)
- Teeth that feel loose, a bite that doesn’t fit together well, or even tooth loss
When patients experience this more advanced form of gum disease, we may recommend a number of changes to at-home hygiene, more frequent teeth cleanings at our office, and a combination of more advanced surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapies. Contact us if you experience any of the warning signs of gum disease.
Scaling & Root Planing
The most commonly recommended periodontal therapies we offer are typically performed together. Scaling is the removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged gum tissue. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future plaque and tartar buildup. Traditionally, these procedures were performed using metallic scraping tools and typically required sutured to promote gum tissue healing. We offer a more comfortable and precise alternative by using a soft tissue laser. During the procedure, patients are much more comfortable and experience less bleeding, and following treatment, healing time is significantly reduced.
Another option we may provide for patients is topical or oral antibiotic therapy. Healthy bacteria living in the mouth are necessary for bodily functions. However, bacteria are living organisms that absorb nutrients and excrete a byproduct. Plaque is a sticky acidic biofilm produced as waste by bacteria. Thus, reducing the number of bacteria in the mouth also reduces the amount of plaque produced.