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Periodontal Care


Diagram of periodontitis and health toothPeriodontitis is an infection that damages both the soft tissue in your mouth and the surrounding bones that support your teeth. Often referred to as gum disease, periodontitis causes severe inflammation around a tooth or several teeth at once. Left untreated, periodontitis can cause serious health issues such as heart disease and tooth loss. If you are having severe inflammation around your tooth, Stansell Dentistry Associates will examine your teeth and decide if periodontal care is necessary to fight off a possible infection.

Causes of Periodontitis


Gum disease affects both your tooth and the surrounding areas where the infection begins to eat away at your death. Periodontitis does not happen instantly and requires months, if not years, of neglect of your oral hygiene. The process starts with a bacterium commonly known as plaque. Plaque is a natural, sticky and colorless bacteria that develops on the surface of your teeth. Daily brushing removes this plaque filament, where it naturally reoccurs over the next day. If teeth are not brushed daily, the plaque can begin to harden on your teeth, a process known as tartar. Tartar cannot be removed from the teeth without a professional cleaning from a dentist or hygienist. Continuous neglect of standard oral hygiene practices can cause the plaque to fester even deeper into your gumline, progressing into eventual gum disease if left untreated.

Gingivitis Versus Periodontitis


Periodontitis and gingivitis are similar, yet have vast differences and implications. Once enough plaque builds up on your teeth, you will first experience gingivitis, which is gum inflammation. Gingivitis is often easy to spot since most experience bleeding during brushing. If you experience gingivitis, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing twice a day to help remove the plaque from the surface of your teeth and on the gumline. While your gums are irritated and inflamed, your teeth are not loose. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices will help remove gingivitis and will not have any irreversible damage to the bone or surrounding tissue.

If gingivitis continues and goes untreated, it will eventually evolve to periodontitis. Gum disease goes further than just inflammation. Your gum and bones begin to pull away from your teeth, causing not only a receding gumline but also develop large pockets. These large pockets begin to fill with debris, causing an infection between your teeth and gums. Once an infection is present, your immune system responds to fight off the bacterium. This can cause connective tissue and bone structures holding your teeth to break down. If left untreated, teeth will eventually loosen and fall out. Once it gets to this stage, the changes may be irreversible, leaving you with missing teeth.

Treatment For Periodontitis


To diagnose and treat periodontitis, our dentist must complete both a physical exam of your teeth and perform an x-ray. A periodontal probe is then inserted under the gumline to detect the large pockets caused by gum disease. If the probe does not go far below the gumline, you're likely to only have gingivitis. If the probe goes deep under the gumline, you likely have periodontitis.

Treatment requires a scaling and deep cleaning to help remove the infection from your gums. This process can take one or two visits, depending on the severity of the periodontitis. Surgery may be required if teeth, bone structures, or connective tissue have been severely damaged. Antiseptic chips or gel may be applied to control the plaque bacteria and help shrink the periodontal pockets. Oral antibiotics, prescription antimicrobial mouth rinses, or enzyme suppressants may be given to help reduce and contain the bacteria and prevent further damage from the periodontitis.

If you are a smoker, immunocompromised, or genetically susceptible to dental problems, you are more prone to gum disease. This may require more regular dental checkups to ensure the health of your teeth and prevent infections from occurring. If you feel you may already have gum disease, call Stansell Dentistry Associates at 984-477-0177 today to schedule an appointment for a dental exam and cleaning from our professionals.

Locations & Hours


Brier Creek




10207 Cerny Street, Ste 106
Raleigh, NC 27617

Phone: 984-477-0177
Fax: 919-249-1375

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

North Raleigh




1911 Falls Valley Drive, Ste 107
Raleigh, NC 27615

Phone: 984-206-4242
Fax: 919-249-2145

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

Knightdale




1101 Great Falls Ct, Ste 102
Knightdale, NC 27545

Phone: 984-733-0330
Fax: 919-415-1849

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

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