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Periodontal Disease

If you have been told you have gum disease, you are not alone. Three out of four adults in the United States have it! 100 million Americans are infected with periodontal disease. The disease may range from simple gum inflammation or redness to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. This gum infection causes 75% of all tooth loss. When this infection damages your gums and jawbone, there is less support for your teeth. People think of this disease in terms of their teeth, but they don’t believe that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream. Current medical research shows a correlation between gum disease and serious medical problems. If you have untreated gum disease, you are at higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, pregnancy complications, premature childbirth, respiratory diseases (such as pneumonia), and diabetes. Research using DNA testing has also found that bacteria associated with gum disease can be transmitted from parent to child and spouse to spouse.
These symptoms may signify a serious problem for a general dentist, dental hygienist, or a specialist (called a periodontist). The dentist or dental hygienist can test you for gum disease and may also take x-rays to determine whether there is any bone loss.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem which should be checked by a general dentist or dental hygienist or a specialist (called a periodontist). The dentist or dental hygienist can test you for gum disease and may also take x-rays to determine whether there is any bone loss. They may also refer you to a periodontist who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and may provide you with treatment options that are not offered by your dentist.

Healthy Gum Tissue

Gingivitis

Periodontitis

Advanced Periodontitis

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tissue and bone around the teeth. If left untreated, the disease can lead to receding gums, loss of bone, and tooth loss. These are the three main stages of gum disease:

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is caused when a film called plaque accumulates on teeth and calcium from saliva then hardens the plaque. The plaque buildup around the gum line causes inflammation of the gums. Neglecting to brush or floss your teeth daily causes this plaque buildup to trap bacteria that cause gum disease. Gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums and causes the gums that should otherwise be pink to appear red and swollen. Many patients will then experience bleeding when brushing or flossing. The good news is at this point; gingivitis can still be reversed. The gums, ligaments, and bones that hold the teeth in place have not yet been damaged.

Stage 2: Periodontitis

If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition will become periodontitis. At this stage, the supporting gums, ligaments, and bones that hold the teeth in place are destroyed. The gums will begin to form “pockets,” referring to deep hollow areas around the teeth that trap food, plaque, and bacteria. The gums may then start to recede, forming gaps between your teeth. Often, this can occur with no symptoms. Immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further damage and tooth loss.

Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis

In the final stage of gum disease, periodontitis left untreated become advanced periodontitis. The bacteria have continued to grow, spread, and cause destruction. It has destroyed the connective tissues and bone that support the teeth. The pockets that formed in the previous stage have become much deeper. This can cause the teeth to shift or loosen. At this stage, aggressive treatment is needed immediately to save the teeth.

How is gum disease treated?

Dr. Gilliam and Dr. Mattlage and their staff are dedicated to providing the finest periodontal therapy to their patients. We offer a full range of gum-related treatments (both surgical and non-surgical). Both doctors are trained in the patented and only FDA- approved laser technique that provides an alternative to the conventional scalpel and stitches gum surgery. The Millennium Dental Technologies state-of-the-art laser offers the newest technology to treat common gum problems. Laser treatment provides:
Dr. Gilliam and Dr. Mattlage are two of only a few hundred dentists in the country licensed to use this laser technology. When your gum disease is stopped, slowed down, or gets worse depends greatly on your taking the first step. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if you have gum disease, or contact our office at the Lubbock Dental Implant Center.
Both doctors encourage any patient to seek a second opinion regarding the treatment of their periodontal disease. Patients can save hundreds of dollars in our office with laser periodontal therapy in most cases. This laser technology can also be used to save failing implants.

Treatment Options

What to expect from our free consultation.

Meet the Doctor

You will meet with our implant team, and they will be able to assist you through the entire process should you decide implants are right for you. Our staff will be there from start to finish and will make your journey as smooth as possible. Our doctors and staff will sit down with you and discuss the implant procedure in-depth and answer any questions you may have.

Receive Your Treatment Plan

As part of the free consultation, we will take a 3D CT scan that enables our doctors to create a customized treatment plan specifically for you. We will review the treatment plan with you and go over each step that will be done, so you have a complete understanding of the treatment proposed.

Get Your Treatment Price

You may be surprised by how affordable dental implants are at our office. Once the doctor works up your treatment plan, you will know exactly how much dental implants will cost you. We will also discuss payment options and the next step if you decide dental implants are right for you.

Comparing Dental Implants to Dentures & Conventional Bridges

Implants, conventional bridges, and dentures have one key thing in common; they are all used to fill the void of a missing tooth or teeth. Aside from this main similarity, all three options are extremely different. The main disadvantage of dentures and conventional bridges is that they are not fixed to the bone, which can cause them to be unstable. This can make it difficult to smile and eat with confidence.
Dental implants not only look more natural, but they feel and act more like normal teeth. As seen above, they do not pose the disadvantages that conventional bridges and dentures do. They allow for a stronger biting force to eat the foods you like without compromising the health of your natural teeth. Implants should be cared for the same way you would your natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing as natural teeth. Like natural teeth, implants can typically last a lifetime if cared for properly.

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