Periodontal Care in Port Orange
Gum disease is more than painful—it can put you at risk for even more serious conditions. Drs. Helen and Joseph Smillie can easily catch the early signs of periodontal infections, but if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while and are experiencing tender or bleeding gums, don’t wait.
This common condition, often called gingivitis, is caused by plaque build-up between the tooth and gum. If left untreated, it can lead to tissue loss, tooth-loss, and more serious infections. Our docotrs recommend biannual dental appointments to avoid the likelihood of periodontal infections. If you haven’t had a check-up in a while, make an appointment today.
Understanding Your Oral Health
What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Gum disease is a preventable infection of your gums and the underlying support structures of your teeth. It’s caused by poor oral hygiene, usually over a prolonged period of time. The infection occurs when you do not brush and floss regularly to remove bacteria from your mouth.
Over time, these bacteria form into a sticky film called “plaque,” which eventually hardens into tartar. When plaque and tartar build-up between your teeth and your gums, the bacteria within these substances begin to attack your gum tissue.
In response, your mouth will send immune cells to your gums and they will become inflamed and tender as they try to fight off the infection. This is the first stage of gum disease, which is called “gingivitis.” It’s reversible and can be completely eliminated with timely treatment.
However, if you do not get treatment, the infection will continue to get worse and will start to cause permanent damage to your gums and teeth. This is known as “periodontitis.” Symptoms of this include pain and tenderness in your teeth, teeth that look longer due to gum recession, and halitosis (bad breath), or a foul taste in your mouth. This condition is not reversible, but can be treated to halt its progression and preserve your teeth.
The final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. It often results in the loosening or loss of multiple teeth, and patients typically need oral surgery to repair their remaining teeth or to extract their teeth and replace them with implants or a set of dentures.
What to Expect
The Periodontal Treatment Process
The most common periodontal treatment is known as “scaling & root planing” or a “deep cleaning.” This treatment is typically enough to reverse gingivitis and halt the progression of moderate cases of gum disease. It takes two appointments over a few weeks at Smillie Dental.
This is because half of your mouth is treated at each appointment, and then your mouth must be allowed to heal before your next cleaning. Dr. Joseph Smillie and Dr. Helen Smillie will begin the process by cleaning and numbing your mouth. Once your mouth is numb, They will use specialized dental tools to scrape plaque and tartar away from between your teeth and gums and eliminate bacteria.
Once your teeth and gums have been cleaned, They will also smooth out the roots of your teeth. This eliminates “pockets” of bacteria that contribute to gum disease. After your cleaning is over, you may be prescribed antibiotics and an antibacterial mouthwash, which you’ll use as directed. After one half of your mouth is cleaned, you’ll come back for another cleaning in 1-2 weeks to complete the procedure.
Dispelling the Myths
Does Periodontal Treatment Hurt?
Unlike a standard teeth cleaning that’s done for oral hygiene, a periodontal cleaning is somewhat invasive. Dr. Helen or Dr. Joseoh Smillie must clean deeply between your gums and teeth using special dental tools.
However, the treatment does not hurt. We will numb your mouth before your treatment to ensure that you do not experience any pain or discomfort, and we can even provide you with sedation to keep you comfortable.
You will likely experience some pain and tenderness in your gums and teeth after your treatment, but this will fade quickly as long as you follow the recovery instructions provided to you by Dr. Joseph Smillie and Dr. Helen Smillie.
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- Tues 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Wed 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Fri By Appointment Only