Treatment of Gum Disease
The Foundation for a Healthy Smile & Body
Keeping your teeth healthy is important, but if the gum tissue is neglected, teeth can be lost without ever getting a cavity. Without good oral hygiene and regular cleanings from a dental hygienist, the gum tissue can become inflamed, swollen, infected, and painful. If this process is not identified and stopped, the tissue can recede to the point where the bone around the tooth is lost and the tooth becomes very loose. If severe enough this condition, called periodontitis, can require extraction of some or all of a patient's teeth.
Healthy gums are also related to a healthy heart. There is a strong correlation between the presence of heart disease and the presence of periodontitis. Infection and inflammation in the gum tissue does not just stay confined to the gum tissue. Bacteria can enter the blood stream and flow throughout the body, and the chemicals that are involved in inflammation also spread to other areas of the body. This is often why people who have their gum disease treated often feel so much better, in a way that is sometimes hard for them to explain.
Early Detection, Simple and Effective Treatment
Fortunately, this disease typically progresses slowly over a period of years. At your cleaning, our staff will closely monitor any signs or symptoms that may indicate that you have periodontitis or its precursor, gingivitis. If caught early, changes in home care habits are often all it takes to stop progression of the disease process and create a healthy support structure for your teeth. Our hygienists will recommend tools and techniques that you can use at home.
If the disease has progressed beyond gingivitis, a series of deeper, more thorough cleanings may be all it takes to see the tissue improve and the support structure stabilize. Laser therapy can also be used to comfortably treat periodontal disease. These methods can very often return the tissue to health without having to resort to gum surgery.
One is not cured of gum disease, as it is an infection of the gum tissue, and the mouth cannot be sterilized. Many factors, including the return of poor hygiene habits, major stress-inducing life changes, and infrequent maintenance visits to the dental office can cause the disease to return. Even gingivitis can come and go as our life changes, and some individuals are more prone to these problems than others.
Knowing this, our office will develop options for you to choose from based on your specific needs. Some patients will only need cleanings once a year. Others may benefit significantly by coming every three months if they develop plaque quickly, have difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene, or have a compromised healing response.