Periodontal Treatment in Billings, MT

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and bones that surround and support the teeth. It's caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, on the teeth. If not treated properly, gum disease can lead to receding gums, bone loss around teeth, and eventually tooth loss. That's why getting regular periodontal care is so important, especially from experienced dentists like Dr. Thomas.

Some signs of gum disease to look out for, according to Dr. Thomas at Thomas Smile Designs in Billings, MT, include:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • A change in the fit of your dentures or other dental appliances
  • A noticeable change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Pus or other discharge between your teeth and gums

The early signs are usually relatively mild, such as redness and bleeding when you brush. It's critical to book a dental exam at the first sign of gum issues to prevent significant deterioration and its consequences. The experienced team at Thomas Smile Designs has advanced technology to detect even subtle gum disease.

Several factors can cause gum disease:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene - Not brushing and flossing properly allows plaque to build up along and under the gumline.
  • Smoking & Tobacco Use - This leads to gum recession and suppresses the immune system.
  • Genetics - Some people are more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Stress - High-stress levels increase inflammation and reduce healing ability.
  • Medications - Some medications cause dry mouth and gum problems.
  • Crooked teeth - Misalignment causes plaque buildup in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Nutrition - Poor nutrition impairs healing and fights infection.

No matter the cause, if you notice any signs of gum disease it's crucial to contact Dr. Thomas in Billings, MT for an evaluation right away.

Stages of Gum Disease

The progression of gum disease has three main stages:

Gum disease is typically categorized into three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Gingivitis– This is the earliest stage of gum disease and is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can be treated with a deep cleaning and improved oral hygiene.

Periodontitis– If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. At this stage, the gums have pulled away from the teeth and pockets have formed, allowing bacteria and plaque to accumulate. This stage of gum disease requires more aggressive treatment, including scaling and root planing and, in some cases, periodontal surgery.

Advanced Periodontitis– This is the most severe stage of gum disease and is characterized by significant bone and connective tissue loss. At this stage, tooth loss is a real concern, and more aggressive treatments, such as flap surgery and bone grafts, may be necessary.

Dr. Thomas emphasizes catching gum issues early before they morph into advanced periodontitis. His periodontal team in Billings, MT, can determine the stage and optimal individualized treatment.

Preventing Gum Disease

To protect their patients' oral health, Dr. Thomas and his team at Thomas Smile Designs in Billings, MT, recommend these prevention tips:

-Brush thoroughly twice a day
-Floss at least once daily
-Get regular professional teeth cleanings every six months
-Limit sugary drinks like soda that feed the bacteria causing gum disease
-Have any sign of gum issues evaluated promptly
-Don't smoke - it exacerbates gum disease

Conscientious at-home oral care and staying on schedule with dental visits allow Dr. Thomas to detect and treat early gum issues before major damage occurs. He also customizes periodontal care plans for patients prone to gum disease.

Complications of Gum Disease

Dr. Thomas cautions patients that unchecked gum disease can have serious oral health and whole-body consequences:

Oral Health Complications:

Loose teeth falling out
Abscesses forming at the gum line
Cysts developing in the jaw and bone
Permanent bite alignment changes
Need for tooth extractions or dental implants

Whole Body Issues

Increased risk for heart disease and stroke
Greater chance of respiratory infections
Raised blood sugar exacerbating diabetes
Adverse pregnancy outcomes like preterm babies

That’s why Dr. Thomas urges patients not to delay if they see inflamed, sore, or bleeding gums. Getting a prompt evaluation and using his tailored treatment solutions can help avoid extensive surgery and tooth loss. Maintaining gum health is vital to protecting oral well-being and overall health.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

Gums in Distress? We Can Help Fast in Billings

If you’re suffering from bleeding, receding, or painful gums, don’t wait another day. Take charge of your oral health and smile confidence now by calling (406) 298-4485 as a new patient or (406) 256-5165 as a current patient, and schedule your consultation today!

Serving residents from Billings, and surrounding areas such as Laurel, and Shepherd, we provide personalized gum disease therapy to gently heal infections, regrow lost tissue, and restore vibrant, lasting dental wellness. With contemporary techniques like dental lasers, we can stop disease progression and transform your smile outlook.