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Pittsburgh Periodontal Therapy

Closeup of female patient receiving dental exam

Gum disease is an oral health condition that affects 50% of adults over the age of 30, and that number jumps to 80% for patients over 35. Additionally, advanced gum disease, periodontitis, is the leading cause of tooth loss for patients in this demographic group. What may be more startling is the fact that gum disease should be preventable. With thorough at-home brushing and flossing and six month dental exams, the majority of people will never have to deal with this detrimental oral health concern. That’s why the Advanced Dental Solutions of Pittsburgh team is dedicated to helping patients keep their smiles healthy and avoid gum disease with regular screenings and professional deep cleanings twice a year. If you want to learn more about gum disease therapy or any of our other dentistry services, call our dedicated dentistry team to schedule an appointment today.

What is Gum Disease?

Man with healthy teeth and gums

Gum disease is a condition that occurs when plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line irritates soft tissue, leading to swelling, inflammation, or infection in the soft tissue. Over time, this causes the connective tissue between teeth and gums to breakdown. In the early stages, gum disease may be referred to as gingivitis, and it has very mild symptoms. In the advanced stages, it’s referred to as periodontitis, and it can have very severe oral health effects, including tooth loss.

How Will I Know I Have Gum Disease?

During a dental exam, we will screen for the early warning signs of gum disease, but you should let us know right away if you notice any of the following warning signs of gum disease:

Female patient receiving professional teeth cleaning

  • Discolored gum tissue
  • Gums bleeding during tooth brushing and flossing
  • Inflammation or infection in the soft tissue
  • Teeth that look longer or gums that are receding
  • Teeth that feel loose or a bite that doesn’t fit together properly

How is Gum Disease Treated?

Your gum disease treatment will depend in large part on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, more frequent professional teeth cleanings and better at-home care are enough to improve oral health. In the advanced stages, you may need some combination of the following treatments:

Dentist and patient looking at digital x-rays

  • Scaling – the systematic removal of plaque and tartar buildup and damaged tissue
  • Root planing – the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent further buildup of plaque and tartar
  • Antibiotic therapy – to reduce the numbers of plaque-producing oral bacteria

More frequent professional teeth cleanings and changes to your at-home hygiene routine may also be necessary to maintain improved oral health following your advanced periodontal therapies.

Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?

In most cases, the answer is yes. For the majority of patients, brushing teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting our office twice a year is effective in preventing periodontal disease. However, some patients naturally have higher levels of detrimental oral bacteria that can make this more difficult. Additionally, patients with immune suppressing chronic illnesses like diabetes should take special care if they notice changes to the appearance of gums, swelling, or sores in the mouth. Patients experiencing hormonal shifts such as expectant mothers and patients over the age of 50 are also at higher risk for gum disease.