Periodontics & Gum Health
At Scotia Dental in Halifax, our dentists can help prevent and manage periodontal (gum) disease.Request An Appointment
What is gum disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection that affects the supporting tissues of the teeth, which include the gums, gingiva, alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.
Factors that affect your risk of developing gum disease include poor oral hygiene, smoking, and systemic diseases that increase plaque to build up on the teeth, eventually affecting the gums.
The first line of defence against gum disease is always prevention. Proper oral hygiene, including a complete brushing and flossing routine at home and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings, is the best way to prevent gum disease from developing in the first place.
If you have developed the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis), it can be treated with a deep cleaning at our office, and a more rigorous oral hygiene routine at home. We will custom-tailor a hygiene care program for you, based on your unique dental health needs.
Stages of Gum Disease
In its early stages, gum disease can be difficult to detect. Many patients only start noticing symptoms when they have progressed past the early stages.
If left untreated, gum disease usually progresses as follows:
Gingivitis is the first stage in the development of gum disease. During this stage, plaque buildup on the teeth (and its toxin by-products) irritates the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
Plaque will eventually harden into tartar if it is not regularly cleaned away. As tartar and plaque continue to build up, they cause the gums to start receding from the teeth. 'Pockets' eventually form between the gums and teeth, which fill with bacteria and pus. The gums become more and more irritated, inflamed, and they also bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss in the supporting structures of the teeth may occur.
- Advanced Periodontitis
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to deteriorate. The affected teeth will loosen and may even fall out. Moderate to severe bone loss in the jaw may occur.
Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. If the disease is caught in the early stages, preventive therapy will be recommended.
Otherwise, treatment will fall into one of these categories:
- Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
For patients with mild or early-stage gum disease, non-surgical therapy is usually sufficient to reverse it. Non-surgical gum therapy involves a deep cleaning performed by a dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar under the gum line, and then smooth out any rough areas left behind through a process called scaling and root planing.
- Surgical Gum Therapy
For gum disease that has advanced past the early stages, surgical treatment may be required. There are a few different types of surgical gum therapy, including flap surgery, guided tissue regeneration, tissue grafting, and bone grafting.
- Post-Treatment Maintenance
After your periodontal treatment is complete, our dental team will recommend regular dental examinations and preventive therapy, usually four times a year.
Good oral hygiene practices and preventive therapy are essential in keeping periodontal disease under control.
Now Accepting New Patients
Our dentists are always happy to welcome new patients to our Halifax dental office. Contact us to get started today!Request An Appointment
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm
- Tuesday: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm
- Wednesday: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm
- Thursday: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm
- Friday: 08:00 am - 04:00 pm
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed