Gum disease, a form of periodontal disease called gingivitis, can cause tooth loss. Researchers have also found that people who have gum disease are more likely to have heart disease or difficulty controlling their blood sugar. Our dentists can treat you for this disease using the latest techniques available.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Before our dentists can treat you for gum disease, you have to know whether you have it or not. You take the first step by coming in to our office to get a checkup. Make a special appointment – even if it is between cleanings – if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive plaque or tartar buildup
- Deep red or purple gums
- Swollen gums
- Shiny gums
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Mouth sores
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain while chewing
Most of these symptoms tend to feel mild and might not cause you much distress. Consequently, you might put off getting your gums checked until long after the symptoms have appeared. At that point, the disease may be so advanced that surgery or bone and tissue grafts may be needed. So, it is important to get regular dental checkups and see your dentist as soon as you notice the symptoms.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
Make an appointment with our dentist as soon as you recognize any of symptoms of gum disease. Your dentist performs a visual check and then takes x-rays if necessary to see if you have lost any bone due to periodontal disease.
Scaling and Root Planing Gum Treatment
If you are in the early stages of gum disease, we can perform a scaling and root planning treatment. During this procedure, your dentist or hygienist uses a special ultrasound tool or laser to scrape the plaque and tartar from your gums down to the roots of your teeth. Your dentist may give you a local anesthetic to deaden your gums to alleviate any pain you might feel from the procedure. The key to success with this treatment is for you to take good care of your teeth and gums following the scaling and root planing treatment.
Medications for Gum Disease
Your dentist can help you stop the progression of gum disease by prescribing you one of several different types of medications. These include oral antibiotics; antibiotic mouthwashes, microspheres, strips and gel; antiseptic strips and enzyme suppressants. If your dentist refers you to your primary care doctor, you might also get medications to clear up infections elsewhere in your body.
Dental Surgery for Gum Disease
Your dentist or periodontist might perform gum surgery if the periodontal disease is very advanced. The two most common types of surgery for gum disease include flap surgery and bone and tissue grafts. For flap surgery, the dentist lifts up the gums to remove tartar, and then stitches the gums back in place for a snugger fit. This makes it easier to clean your teeth. For the most advanced cases, dental surgeons can do grafts to repair the bones and tissues damaged by the gum disease.
Non surgical gum treatment for gum disease using Arestin
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment used to treat periodontal disease. ARESTIN is used to make this method more effective. ARESTIN is an anti-biotic that combats the bacteria that causes gum disease. It is placed in pockets of space at or below the gumline. The dentist may apply ARESTIN at the same time he performs scaling and root planing, or at a follow-up visit. In some instances, it is also used during routine maintenance for patients who have periodontal disease.