What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a progressive condition that affects the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. This disease begins with an infection of the gums, which can cause inflammation and bleeding and lead to receding gums, tooth loss, and complications with systemic health. Periodontal disease has been linked to conditions such as acute cardiac infarction, diabetes, and low birth weight pre-term babies. If no treatment measures are taken, gum disease will continue to progress, harming gums, bone, and teeth along the way. If you are showing signs of gum disease, the best choice is to seek treatment immediately. We provide periodontal treatment for every stage of gum disease and can help restore the health back to your gums and smile.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that gather from a buildup of plaque and tartar between the gums and teeth.
What are my treatment options?
The primary goal of all types of gum disease treatment is to remove the buildup of bacteria to keep it from spreading, halt bone loss, and improve the health and appearance of the teeth and gums.
- If your gums have become inflamed or damaged because of excess plaque and bacteria, there are several options for restoration. We recommend non-surgical procedures, such as scaling or root planing, for those with only moderate periodontal disease. Patients with gingivitis often need a “deep cleaning” in order to remove the dental plaque and tartar that have built up and caused gum inflammation. Scaling removes this buildup from the tooth roots. Root planing smooths rough edges of the tooth root to encourage healing and reduce the risk for bacteria populating in the future.
- Osseous (flap) surgery is the preferred treatment for those with the more advanced gum disease, but this procedure is simple as well, as it’s more of an in-depth cleaning, requiring only local anesthesia. Stages of more advanced gum disease are characterized by deepening periodontal pockets around the teeth that harbor bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup and cause the destruction of the surrounding bone and soft tissue. Osseous surgery cuts and “flaps” gum tissue back to access more of the tooth for thorough cleaning. If gum disease has affected the bone, it is reshaped to promote the reattachment of the gum tissue.
How do I prevent gum disease?
Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented. Adding these habits to your daily routine can help.
- Brush your teeth twice daily.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Swish with mouthwash.
- Know your risk – age, smoking, and genetics can play a role.
- Have annual comprehensive periodontal evaluations with us!