Periodontal Disease Treatment (Gum Disease)

Gum disease is a common condition that can affect anyone's oral health. We offer periodontal services for all stages of gum disease to help you regain your oral health.

Periodontal Disease Treatment in Morehead City, NC

Periodontal disease, gum disease, and periodontitis are all terms used to describe an infection in the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. These structures are vital to keeping your tooth roots healthy and intact. Therefore, it is crucial to identify signs of periodontitis as early as possible.

The first sign of trouble is gingivitis, characterized by minor redness, swelling, or mild bleeding of the gums. Without proper care through daily oral hygiene and professional cleanings, this infection can spread into your connective tissues, causing permanent damage to the underlying structures.


Illustration of a bottom row of teeth showing signs of periodontal/gum disease with the gum line receding
  • What are the signs of periodontal disease or gum disease?

    Periodontitis is a condition that affects the gums, and its earliest sign is an irritated gum line that may cause discomfort or bleeding during brushing, flossing, or professional cleaning. If left untreated, the gums will start to pull away from the teeth, creating spaces called periodontal pockets that can quickly fill with harmful accumulations. Your dentist will measure the depths of these pockets to determine the extent of the condition and recommend appropriate treatment. If gum disease spreads, it can reach the jawbone and teeth’s connective tissues, resulting in jawbone deterioration and tooth loss.

    Some of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease include:

    •  Gum recession
    • “Long teeth”
    • Tooth mobility
    • Sore teeth while chewing or biting
    • Spaces between teeth
    • Deep pockets under your gums
    • Visible bone loss on X-rays
    • Heavy tartar buildup
    • Bad breath
    • Bleeding during brushing and flossing

    It’s essential to note that smoking, vaping, or using tobacco products can mask the symptoms of periodontal disease, making it difficult to detect. Even if the disease is present, your tissues may appear healthy due to a lack of bleeding or swelling.

  • How do you identify gum disease?

    Early identification of gum disease is crucial to prevent bone and tooth loss. To determine the presence and severity of periodontitis, we will:

    1. Review your medical history to identify risk factors such as genetics, smoking, or taking certain medications.
    2. Examine your teeth and gums for indicators of disease, including severe plaque/tartar buildup or gums that bleed easily.
    3. Measure gum pocket depth by inserting a dental probe between your teeth and gums in various mouth areas.
      • 1-3 mm is a healthy and average gum pocket depth
      • 3-5 mm is early or mild periodontitis
      • 5-7 mm is moderate periodontitis
      • 7-10 mm is advanced periodontitis
    4. Take x-rays of your mouth to identify any bone loss in areas with deeper gum pockets.
  • How is periodontal disease or gum disease treated?

    Depending on its severity, periodontal or gum disease can be treated in two ways. Scaling and root planing is the standard treatment for periodontitis and is highly effective in managing the condition in its early to moderate stages. The procedure involves removing accumulated plaque, tartar, and oral bacteria from the areas below the gum line and between the teeth. The root surfaces are then smoothed out to prevent future accumulation. This treatment can reverse the harmful effects of gum disease, and your gums should heal and reattach to the teeth over time.

    Bone grafting is the second treatment option and is necessary when bacteria and plaque have caused decay and deterioration of the jawbone. The dentist will surgically access the damaged jawbone and regenerate it by applying proteins and artificial bone-like material to the degraded areas. This will encourage new bone growth and strengthen the jawbone, making it capable of supporting dental implants to replace missing teeth.

  • What causes gum disease?

    Gum disease can be caused due to three factors. The most common cause is chronic periodontitis. This results from poor oral hygiene and the accumulation of bacteria beneath the gum line, which eventually hardens into tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove with brushing and flossing and requires professional cleaning. If left untreated, it can lead to inflamed and damaged gums and bone loss. The second cause is aggressive periodontitis, which is believed to have a genetic component and can be seen in a small number of families. It progresses rapidly and can even affect children. The last and rarest cause is necrotizing periodontal disease, which can affect people with immune issues and chronic diseases. This condition occurs due to a lack of blood flow to the area, leading to compromised soft tissues and bone.

  • What is gum recession?

    Gum recession is a common dental problem affecting approximately half of Americans over 50. However, it can also affect young people. Some people may be genetically predisposed to gum recession, while others may develop it due to environmental factors such as aggressive brushing, trauma, surgery, or ill-fitting partials.

    If you notice that your tooth looks more prolonged than usual or experience sensitivity or pain when brushing and flossing, you may suffer from gum recession. In this case, visiting the dentist for a proper diagnosis is advisable. A minor gum graft procedure can be performed if gum recession is detected. During the procedure, a small amount of skin from the patient’s palate is grafted over the receding area to protect the tooth from further damage. This procedure can be done for a single tooth or multiple teeth, depending on the patient’s needs.

More Questions?

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Sound Dental

306 Penny Lane
Morehead City, NC 28557
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