Periodontal Care in Sierra Vista, AZ

Create Exceptional Oral Health With Dr. Hales

Gentle Care Dentistry & Implants

General Dentist & Dental Implant Provider located in Sierra Vista, AZ

Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Have your teeth started loosening up? If you notice any of these issues, it could signal the early stages of periodontal (gum) disease. Left untreated, this common oral infection can lead to receding gums, lost teeth, and other dental woes. Don’t panic — there is hope! Leading Sierra Vista periodontist Dr. Kent Hales offers innovative periodontal care treatments to stop gum disease in its tracks and restore your smile’s health.

Schedule a periodontal consultation with Dr. Hales at Gentle Care Dentistry and Implants by calling (520) 458-9460 today! We’re here to help bring your smile back to life.

What Is Periodontal Care?

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. 

As plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar, it triggers inflammation and irritation in the gums. This mild form of gum disease is called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, where inflammation spreads deeper into the gum tissue and the periodontal ligament. Eventually, pockets form between the gums and teeth, where more bacteria accumulate. This leads to further gum tissue and bone loss and can ultimately cause tooth loss.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

There are four main stages of periodontal disease:A man smiles at his dental appointment after receiving dental x-rays and imaging

  • Gingivitis: This is the mildest and most common form. Red, swollen gums that may bleed when brushing signal gingivitis. It’s reversible with professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene.
  • Mild Periodontitis: At this point, gum pockets measure up to 3mm deep, and early connective tissue and bone damage may occur. You may notice some loose teeth.
  • Moderate Periodontitis: Gum pockets are 4-5mm deep. More bone and connective tissue destruction causes teeth to loosen further.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: Gum pockets exceed 6mm in depth, significant bone loss occurs, and teeth can become very loose or fall out.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Some common symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath that doesn’t resolve with brushing
  • Receding gums
  • Spaces developing between teeth
  • Pus discharge around teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • A change in how teeth fit together when biting
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods

The Periodontal Care Process at Gentle Care Dentistry and Implants

At Gentle Care Dentistry and Implants, Dr. Hales follows a comprehensive process to assess and treat periodontal disease:

  • A periodontal examination determines the stage and severity of the disease. Dr. Hales uses advanced diagnostic tools like dental probes to measure gum pockets and takes X-rays to assess bone loss.
  • A deep cleaning removes plaque and calculus above and below the gumline. Local anesthetics can numb the gums for patient comfort.
  • For more advanced cases, laser therapy can kill bacteria and promote healing. 
  • Dr. Hales may recommend periodontal surgery to reduce pocket depth and restore lost bone in severe cases. Options like flap surgery, bone grafts, and soft tissue grafts help regrow healthy tissue.
  • For maintenance, patients require regular periodontal visits (usually every three to six months). Dr. Hales provides ongoing monitoring and cleaning to prevent recurrence.
  • At home, patients should maintain proper oral hygiene, like brushing, flossing, and using antiseptic mouthwashes to control bacteria.

Periodontal Treatment Aftercare

Following periodontal treatment by Dr. Hales, proper aftercare and adherence to home maintenance help get you on the path to healthy gums again. Here are some important periodontal aftercare tips:A family is happy with the results of their fluoride treatments.

  • Stick to your follow-up appointments for professional cleanings and monitoring. Don’t skip them!
  • Brush twice daily for two minutes using gentle motions. Make sure to brush along the gumline.
  • Floss thoroughly once a day. Use interdental brushes or water flossers for wider spaces between teeth.
  • Rinse daily with antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria.
  • If prescribed, use any medicated mouth rinses or gels.
  • Quit smoking and manage chronic conditions like diabetes that increase risk.
  • Avoid hard, sticky, and crunchy foods which can re-injure healing gums.
  • Use warm saltwater rinses to soothe discomfort and keep areas clean.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed per Dr. Hales’ instructions.
  • Call our Sierra Vista dental office if you experience heavy bleeding, intense pain, swelling, or other problems.

Periodontal Care Tips From Dr. Hales

As a leading periodontist in Sierra Vista, Dr. Hales has invaluable tips for optimal gum health:

  • Brush Properly: Use gentle motions and focus on the gumline/tooth interfaces. Spend 30 seconds per area.
  • Choose an Electric or Ultrasonic Toothbrush: Clinically proven to reduce gingivitis, the vibration and oscillations provide a superior clean.
  • Use Floss or Interdental Cleaners Daily: There are many options, like floss picks, to make it easier.
  • Don’t Overlook the Tongue: Your tongue can harbor bacteria. Gently scrape or brush it daily.
  • If you have crowns, implants, or appliances like dentures, pay special attention to cleaning them thoroughly.
  • Rinse With Mouthwash Daily: Choose an antiseptic, alcohol-free rinse to kill germs.
  • Limit Sugary and Acidic Drinks and Snacks: These can erode enamel and irritate gums.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially between meals and snacks.
  • Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco: Tobacco products worsen gum disease.
  • Replace Defective Restorations: Replace old dental prostheses that trap plaque and irritate gums.
  • See Our Sierra Vista Dentist: Visit twice yearly for cleanings and periodontal evaluations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Take Control of Your Oral Health With Periodontal Care

Don’t let gum disease sneak up on you. Be proactive and watch for early symptoms like gingivitis. Dr. Hales provides cutting-edge treatment to halt the progression of periodontitis and get your gums healthy again. Call Gentle Care Dentistry and Implants in Sierra Vista, AZ, today at (520) 458-9460 to schedule a periodontal care evaluation. Your smile and oral well-being are worth it!