Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Did you know that almost half of adults under the age of 65 have some form of periodontal disease? And over the age of 65, that number increases to 70%!  Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. At Dixon and Dixon, we want to prevent you from losing your teeth to gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that causes the breakdown of the supporting bone, ligaments, and tissues that anchor our teeth. This process is usually chronic, meaning long term. 

Several factors can cause this inflammation. These can include poor oral hygiene and lack of professional dental care, to smoking, to more systemic causes such as diabetes and heart disease.

Medical professionals are now correlating many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and some cancers to chronic inflammation.   

Maintaining Healthy Gums

Dental cleanings are recommended twice a year for someone with healthy gums. When a person has healthy gums, there is usually no redness or swelling of the gums (gingivitis) or deep periodontal pockets. Tartar, the hardened dental plaque, is usually above the gum line.  Our team of skilled hygienists at Dixon and Dixon in Ft. Lauderdale can help you maintain your healthy smile!

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gums. Your gums can be red, puffy and bleed easily. It can be the very beginning of gum disease, and it is often reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition and obesity
  • Medication
  • Age
  • Chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Genetics
  • Stress

What Happens to My Teeth and Gums if I Have Gum Disease?

When there is a breakdown of the supporting bone, ligaments, and tissues that anchor our teeth, a deeper periodontal pocket will form.  Bone will be lost that anchor the teeth, gums can recede, and teeth can loosen and eventually be lost.

How Can Gum Disease be Treated?

There are several ways to treat and maintain gum disease.  For someone with the beginning stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing (deep cleanings) can be performed at the office of Dixon and Dixon by our team of hygienists.  The plaque and tartar in the deeper pockets are cleaned out using ultrasonic scalers and hand instruments. We irrigate the gums and pockets with anti-bacterial medication, and often, an antibiotic powder is injected into the deep pockets.  

Once a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is important to be seen for a periodontal maintenance cleaning every 3-4 months.

For someone with moderate to advanced periodontal disease, Dr. Dixon will refer you to a specialist for more specialized treatment such as laser therapy and gum surgery.  Together, a customized treatment will be created to help you achieve and maintain a return to health.

Contact Us to Schedule Your Next Cleaning

Whether you are used to seeing a dentist in Ft. Lauderdale every six months or it’s been six years since your last visit, we are here to help you. You can schedule an appointment online, email us or give us a call at 954-523-8788.