Periodontal Treatment in Sarasota, FL
Most adults know that brushing twice daily and flossing is necessary for keeping their smiles healthy and beautiful. While correct hygiene is essential, semi-annual visits for exams and cleanings also help minimize your risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
Here at the office of Deborah Simpkins, DMD, we approach each of our patients as a unique individual and will recommend personalized healthy at-home routines that are easy to follow. From our youngest patient to our most senior, we will develop a plan for treatment and prevention that fits your unique needs.
- Why Your Gum Health Matters
- How Gum Disease Affects Your Smile
- How We Treat Gum Disease
- Are You at Risk for Developing Gum Disease?
- How You Can Protect Your Smile at Home
Why Your Gum Health Matters
Healthy teeth are supported by healthy gums. But if your gums are compromised by periodontal disease, there’s a lot more at stake than your oral health.
It seems that nearly every week we see new research that highlights the effects that poor gum health can have on other bodily systems. These studies establish a definite relationship between the health of your gums and your overall health and well-being. Today we know that gum disease can be a contributing factor to heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, strokes, and even dementia.
By taking steps to visit your Sarasota dentist every six months for a preventive tooth cleaning and checkup, you are also taking precautions to protect your overall well-being.
How Gum Disease Affects Your Smile
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that causes your gums to become inflamed, irritated, and bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth. During its earliest stages, we refer to gum disease as gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be difficult to detect on your own, which is why it is essential to visit your dentist and hygienist every six months for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist in Sarasota will screen you for gum disease during every examination so you can treat this condition as early as possible.
Without treatment, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. At this point, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth and leave pockets where bacteria and food collect. When these pockets become infected, the bone and tissues that hold a tooth in place break down, which ultimately leads to tooth loss.
How We Treat Gum Disease
During your semi-annual cleaning appointment at our Sarasota, FL dental office, Dr. Simpkins will look for signs of gum disease. These routine visits are essential because gum disease often develops and does considerable damage before you even know it exists in your mouth.
If you have gingivitis, we will perform a thorough cleaning and make recommendations for improving your at-home oral hygiene habits. For many patients, taking these steps is enough to not only control their gingivitis but also reverse their condition.
If periodontitis is present, we will recommend a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. During scaling, your hygienist will numb your teeth and clear away the tartar that exists both above and below the gum line; planing smooths rough spots on the tooth roots where germs gather. Your Sarasota dentist may also recommend antibiotic therapy to help combat your infection.
In some cases, we may use a laser to remove plaque and tartar. The laser works to eliminate diseased tissues and sterilize the treated area without harming any healthy tissues. Treatment with dental lasers results in less bleeding, less discomfort, and faster healing times compared to traditional deep cleaning treatment.
Severe cases of periodontitis may require surgery with a specialist.
No matter what your condition requires, if you are struggling with periodontitis, Dr. Simpkins will guide you through the process each step of the way. We can also help you control your gum disease and maintain your dental health with additional supportive teeth cleanings throughout the year.
Are You at Risk for Developing Gum Disease?
Understanding the risk factors for developing gum disease is part of the prevention process.
Smoking and tobacco use are the most significant risk factor for developing gum disease. Smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, and it also compromises your immune system, making it harder for you to heal after treating your condition.
Some other common risk factors for gum disease are:
- Poor oral hygiene - Lack of daily brushing and flossing promotes plaque and tartar buildup
- Hormones - Hormone changes can promote gum sensitivity
- Diabetes - People who have diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease and vice versa
- Certain medications - Some medications that cause dry mouth can increase your risk of developing gum disease
- Genetics - Your genes may leave you predisposed to developing problems like gum disease
Being aware of risk factors and monitoring your dental health for changes will help you protect yourself from the issues that can arise from gum disease. If you notice changes in your oral health, such as swollen, red, or bleeding gums, or chronic bad breath that doesn't go away with brushing or mouth rinse, contact your dentist in Sarasota right away for an examination.
How You Can Protect Your Smile at Home
While your preventive teeth cleanings and checkups may be your best defense against gum disease, there are also many steps you can take at home to protect your smile and the health of your gums.
An Excellent Home Care Routine
Committing to a consistent home care routine of brushing twice daily and flossing once will help to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free. Talk with your dental hygienist to ensure you are utilizing proper brushing and flossing techniques to remove the most plaque buildup possible.
Dr. Simpkins can also recommend products to use at home to help you make the most of your home care routine, such as an electric toothbrush or an antibacterial mouth rinse. Electric toothbrushes do much of the hard work of brushing for you while timing your session to ensure that you brush your teeth for the full recommended two minutes. An antibacterial mouth rinse can help to reduce the bacteria and acids in your mouth that cause plaque buildup.
Talk with your Sarasota dentist to learn more about the products that are right for your specific needs.
A Healthy and Well-Balanced Diet
While you may understand that a diet high in sugar is bad for your teeth, did you know that eating more fruits and vegetables can protect them? It's true! Fruits and vegetables help to increase saliva flow, which eliminates food particles left in your mouth after eating. Increased saliva also helps to protect your teeth by neutralizing the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay.
Improving your diet by increasing your intake of fruits and veggies not only protects your overall health, but it also protects your teeth!
Please Call to Arrange an Appointment in 34231
At the office of Deborah Simpkins, DMD, we provide preventive treatments that keep your teeth healthy and free of disease. But if your teeth aren’t as healthy as you would like them to be, please don’t put off appointments because of embarrassment. We will start where you are and restore your oral health without judgment.
Please contact us today at (941) 921-2122 to arrange your next exam and dental cleaning at our Sarasota, FL dental office.