Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease that results in pockets forming between the teeth and the gums. Once these pockets reach 4mm, which is deeper than your toothbrush and floss can reach, early-stage periodontal disease is diagnosed. At this point, the only way to treat the condition is with a deep cleaning from your local periodontist in Vero Beach, FL.
Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis – gum inflammation and redness, receding gums, and bleeding gums. Can be reversed.
- No Periodontal Disease – 1 to 3mm is normal pocket depth between teeth and gums. Can not be diagnosed at this stage
- Early Periodontal Disease – Pocket depth is between 4 and 5mm.
- Moderate Periodontal Disease – Pocket depth is between 5+ and 7mm.
- Advanced Periodontal Disease – Pocket depth is between 7+ and 10mm, usually with bone loss.
Treating Gum Disease
Most individuals over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, whether it’s gingivitis or early periodontal disease. The goal of our periodontist in Vero Beach is to catch gum disease early so that it can be treated in a timely manner. This works best if the gum disease is gingivitis because gingivitis is treatable and reversible, meaning you can have healthy, disease-free gums after receiving treatment for gingivitis.
Periodontal disease is considered manageable not curable, which means you could have the disease or deep pockets between your teeth for the rest of your life. However, advanced periodontal treatment techniques can help regenerate gum tissue and lost bone, which means after receiving treatment, you are less likely to lose teeth due to the condition.
Steps To Diagnose Periodontal Disease
Our periodontist in Vero Beach, FL starts every periodontal treatment plan with x-rays and a thorough examination of your mouth and the pockets between your teeth. The digital x-rays let our periodontist know where the pockets between your teeth are located and if the disease has begun to affect your jaw bone.
Next, the pockets between your teeth are measured. Periodontal disease typically starts when the pockets reach 4mm. However, inflammation and potentially infection also typically have to be present at this stage in order to diagnose it in it’s early-stage. If your pockets are 4mm deep with no infection or inflammation and your gums are healthy with no signs of redness or recession, the disease may not be diagnosed, but you may be told to get on a frequent periodontal cleaning routine.
Getting Diagnosed With Periodontal Disease
At 5mm, periodontal disease is diagnosed. This is typically considered either early-stage or moderate stage, and you’ll need a deep cleaning or a root planing in order to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from these pockets. Our periodontist will also apply localized antibiotics may prescribe a mouthwash specifically for periodontal disease.
The advanced stage of this disease gets diagnosed at 7mm. At this stage, the gums are usually severed recessed and bone loss around the tooth has occurred. Treatment typically starts with a root planing or surgical cleaning. Antibiotics are typically placed in the pockets and a prescription mouthwash is recommended to help start the healing process.
When significant bone and gum loss have occurred, advanced treatments like guided tissue regeneration and bone and gum grafts are needed to help restore the health of the gums and to regrow lost bone.
Periodontal Maintenance with Our Periodontist in Vero Beach
Once the initial treatments have been completed, the individual will still need ongoing periodontal maintenance. This is because the disease is considered a chronic condition and flareups can occur. Our periodontal maintenance services include deep cleanings and root planing, as well as and the application of antibiotics and antimicrobials as needed. This helps keep the gums healthy and ensures that if the individual has any implants, they remain stable in the jaw.
To schedule an appointment with our periodontist in Vero Beach, contact us at 772-569-9704.