If you’ve been told you have periodontal disease, you shouldn’t take your diagnosis lightly. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and can cause numerous complications for your oral and general health, including jawbone tissue loss and tooth loss, and it can also be associated with diabetes and heart disease patients. If you have any stage of periodontal disease, you need immediate evaluation and treatment to limit the spread of bacteria in your mouth, manage the disease and hopefully save your jawbone tissue and teeth. Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants is uniquely qualified to help. Dr. Barzyk is an experienced board certified periodontal in the Charlotte, NC area. He is ready to help area residents fight periodontal disease, as well as repair their smiles from the damage caused by this chronic oral condition.
What Are the Stages of Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is classified into three stages, all of which should be taken seriously:
Periodontal Disease Stage 1 – Gingivitis
Without a doubt, most Charlotte, NC periodontal disease patients have already heard of the term “gingivitis.” After all, you can hardly watch a television program these days without seeing a toothpaste or mouthwash commercial mentioning the condition. But just because gingivitis is commonly known, doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Left untreated, it can advance, leading to jawbone tissue and tooth loss, and eventually require advanced periodontal procedures and oral surgery.
Symptoms of gingivitis that Dr. Barzyk looks for include gums that are red and swollen; gums that bleed easily, especially after they are brushed or flossed; receding gum lines; and bad breath that won’t go away, even after you’ve brushed or used mouthwash.
The good news for Charlotte, NC periodontal disease patients is that, if caught early, gingivitis can be treated and managed. By practicing proper oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every day, and visiting a periodontist for dental treatments as directed, you can limit the spread of gingivitis and prevent it from progressing to a more severe stage of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease Stage 2 – Periodontitis
Unfortunately, not every gingivitis patient is diagnosed. Because of this, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a more serious form of periodontal disease that requires the intervention of a specialist like Dr. Barzyk. When Dr. Barzyk examines your teeth and gums, will look for changes in the soft tissue in your mouth, such as gum loss; decreased jawbone tissue; gums that are bright red and swollen; gums that are extremely tender when touched; spaces developing between your teeth; deep pockets of gum between your teeth, which are typically filled with pus and bacteria; very bad breath; loosening teeth; a bad taste in your mouth that just won’t go away; and teeth that no longer align together when you close your mouth.
When periodontal disease is present, Dr. Barzyk springs into immediate action. Treatment of this stage of periodontal disease includes scaling and root planing – which is a form of deep cleaning of your teeth, roots and gums. Depending on the degree of jawbone tissue loss that you may be experiencing, Dr. Barzyk may also recommend a jawbone tissue graft to stabilize loose teeth so that normal chewing is restored.
Gum Disease Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
Despite warnings from their dentists and periodontists, every year Charlotte, NC residents come to Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants with advanced periodontitis – the most severe form of periodontal disease. This serious oral health condition includes chronically bad breath; swollen gums that frequently bleed; gums that have receded so severely that your tooth roots are visible; periodontal pockets between your gums that are filled with pus and bacteria; loose and misaligned teeth, or teeth that have fallen out or need to be surgically extracted; and severe jawbone tissue loss.
Besides treating this advanced form of periodontal disease with scaling and root planing, Dr. Barzyk of Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants commonly performs aesthetic and functional periodontal surgery procedures on advanced periodontitis patients, including:
- Jawbone tissue grafts, to restore lost jawbone;
- Gum grafts, to cover exposed roots and stimulate gum growth;
- Tooth extractions, to remove teeth that are no longer functional; and
- Dental implants, to permanently replace teeth that have fallen out or were surgically extracted.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease can be caused by numerous factors, including:
- Failure to practice proper oral hygiene;
- Smoking cigarettes or cigars;
- Hormonal changes, including those that occur during pregnancy
- Diabetes, heart disease and certain other illnesses
What Should I Do If I Suspect I have Periodontal Disease?
If you suspect you have any stage of periodontal disease, it’s urgent that you are seen by a qualified periodontist immediately for a proper diagnosis, staging of the disease, stopping the spread of the bacteria in your mouth, and performing recommended periodontal procedures.
At Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants, we take pride in the way our doctors treat patients thoroughly – always working to ensure their comfort.
If you are concerned that you might have periodontal disease, please contact our office in the Greater Charlotte area to schedule an evaluation at (704) 291-7333.