Gum Disease Williamsport PA

Periodontal Therapy An Overview

Dr. Joyce Kim is an experienced dentist that provides comprehensive periodontal therapy for patients experiencing gum disease. At every routine dentist appointment at our Williamsport dental office, you will be screened for it. Gum disease is progressive and can cause serious harm to your oral and overall health. diagnosing and treating it as soon as possible is important to avoid damage to the teeth and gums that can be permanent or even lead to tooth loss.

Stages of Gum Disease

  • Gingivitis – This is the first stage of periodontal disease and is very treatable. Many people do not even realize they have it. Here, the gums may be red, swollen, irritated, or even slightly inflamed. They may bleed very easily when brushing or flossing. Treating gingivitis promptly is important because it will avoid irreversible damage.
  • Periodontitis – This stage of gum disease is more detrimental to your health. When gingivitis is not treated properly, it will progress into periodontitis. In this advanced stage of periodontal disease, there can be evidence of damage to the underlying bone, infected pockets forming along the teeth causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, and tooth damage. Treating periodontitis as soon as possible is imperative to your health.
  • Advanced periodontitis – Here, the damage to your gums, teeth and bone is very evident. With advanced periodontitis, bone loss is severe and very deep pockets have formed due to the majority of the gum tissue being infected and pulling away from the teeth. If you reach this stage, tooth loss is likely.

Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

It is caused by bacteria that have infected the gum tissue, often due to poor oral hygiene, medical conditions, certain medications or a lack of dental care. Common signs of gum disease can include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath, halitosis
  • Gum recession
  • Shifting teeth, loose teeth
  • Changes in the fit of the bite or dentures

If you are experiencing any of these common symptoms or have concerns about your oral health, schedule a visit with Dr. Kim for a comprehensive dental exam to evaluate the condition of your dental health.

Periodontal Therapy What to Expect

Schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you think you may have gum disease. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is important because it will get worse over time. Periodontal therapy refers to a range of gum treatments designed to remove bacteria and diseased tissue and stimulate healing to restore gum health. At your appointment, Dr. Kim will evaluate your gums, determine the stage of disease and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your needs.

Treatment options for gum disease include:

  • Antibacterial rinses: a conservative treatment that can be done at home as part of your daily oral hygiene routine, this is often the most effective option for early stage gingivitis. It may also be recommended for ongoing use in patients with chronic gum disease or considered at greater risk.
  • Scaling and root planing: for more advanced gingivitis or early stage periodontitis, this thorough cleaning and removal of plaque from tooth surfaces, exposed roots and the gum line can promote healing.
  • Oral surgery or laser dentistry: for patients with advanced periodontitis, Dr. Kim will coordinate care with a local periodontist or oral surgeon.

Periodontal Therapy FAQs

Is periodontal therapy necessary?

If you have symptoms of gum disease, it’s very important to take care of it before it progresses further. Gum disease doesn’t go away on its own and can lead to severe oral health problems. Periodontal therapy is essential to stop gum disease.

How quickly does gum disease progress?

In the early stages, gum inflammation can occur in as few as five days. Once this is present, you’ll see more general gingivitis symptoms within a few weeks. If you leave this untreated, it will progressively get worse, turning into early periodontitis.

How do I get gum disease?

Gum disease is most commonly caused by poor oral healthcare habits. Plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth, hardening and irritating the gum tissue.

Is periodontal therapy painful?

No, our priority is our patients’ comfort. We ensure that the entire treatment area is numbed with a local anesthetic before starting the procedure. If your condition is severe, you may be referred to a specialist who will provide sedation if surgery is required.

Will my insurance cover periodontal treatment?

Most dental insurance companies provide assistance for periodontal therapy. We’ll personally work with your insurance company to ensure to get the best assistance possible. If needed, we also provide third-party financing options like CareCredit.

Is my bad breath due to gum disease?

Many different things can cause bad breath. However, if you’re consistently brushing — including your tongue — and using mouthwash or other rinses, it’s possible that it’s gum disease. You may not even notice your own bad breath, but others may bring it to your attention. It’s often a distinctive smell.