Debra V. Irvin, DDS, PC
Dental Wellness

Periodontal Treatment in Philadelphia

Do you have bleeding gums, bad breath, or loose teeth? All three are symptoms of periodontal disease.

Commonly referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease affects nearly half of all American adults.

At the office of Debra V. Irvin, DDS, we teach our patients about prevention to help them reduce their risk for periodontal disease. When we find gum disease, it is important for us to treat it as soon as possible because it takes a toll on your teeth and gums. But it doesn’t stop there.

It's bad enough that gum disease destroys the gums and bones that support your teeth, but numerous studies also link periodontal infection and inflammation to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and stroke. 

What Causes Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease often occurs because of improper oral hygiene. During the day, a sticky film called plaque coats your teeth. Plaque attracts harmful bacteria and toxins that attach to the surface of your tooth and down along the roots below the surface of the gums.
If you aren't brushing and flossing correctly, you aren't removing all the plaque that builds up on your teeth and at the gumline. If plaque is not removed with proper oral hygiene and routine dental cleanings, it builds up into a hard substance called tartar, or calculus. Calculus provides a perfect home for bacteria to thrive so they continue to damage the structures that support your teeth.

Professional cleanings are crucial because only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar with special dental instruments.

How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a serious problem that we need to address as quickly as possible. Treatment for gum disease in its early stages is easy; we can usually perform a professional cleaning and then follow up with regular appointments to monitor your progress and get rid of the infection.

However, if gum disease isn’t caught or treated in its early stages, we must adjust your treatment accordingly. The treatment we choose depends on the health of your teeth and the severity of the periodontal infection. We will usually recommend one or a combination of the following treatments.

  • Scaling removes tartar and calculus from affected teeth and below the gums.
  • Root planing involves removal of tartar and smoothing the surface of the root to promote healing.
  • Delivery of a topical antibiotic like Arestin prevents the reattachment of bacteria. 

In the case of advanced periodontal disease, surgery may be necessary. If that is the case, we will refer you to a specialist and work closely with them to develop an ongoing treatment plan.

Call to Schedule a Professional Cleaning

Avoiding gum disease is easy if you follow proper oral hygiene and visit our Philadelphia dental office for routine cleanings. If you have concerns or questions, please call us to arrange a professional cleaning. We will check for signs of gum disease and create a treatment plan that suits your needs.

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