Gum disease is a common dental health issue that affects about 50% of the current US population. It’s an infection and inflammation of the gums that is typically caused by poor dental hygiene. When plaque and bacteria build up along the gumline, infection can occur, leading to gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease). If this problem is caught early on, it can be easily reversed with brushing, flossing, and regular visits to our office. However, if it persists, gum disease can lead to more severe oral health conditions like tooth loss.
The sooner you can recognize gum disease, the easier your path toward a healthy smile will be. That’s why it’s important to know and understand these common warning signs:
If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our office right away for treatment.
We offer multiple options for gum disease treatment, and the solution that works best for you will depend on the severity of your infection. In some case, we may combine multiple treatments for the best results. These solutions for a healthy smile include:
We recommend that patients come to see us for checkups at least once every six months because this allows us to catch gum disease as early as possible. During its initial stages, treatment usually consists of only a professional cleaning and more diligent brushing and flossing at home. However, in cases of more advanced gum disease, our team may recommend scaling and root planing.
For the scaling portion, a small ultrasonic cleaner will be used to remove hardened plaque deposits (called calculus) that have built up below the gum line on the roots of the teeth. Once they are out of the way, root planing will involve smoothing out any rough surfaces in the area. This will make plaque less likely to accumulate around the gum line in the future, protecting a patient from reinfection. Depending on a patient’s situation, a complete SRP treatment can take anywhere from one to four appointments to complete.
Often used alongside scaling and root planing, antibiotic therapy can be administered both topically and in pill form. Antibiotic gels and mouth rinses treat concentrated areas of gum disease, and we can prescribe you oral antibiotics to eliminate disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This nonsurgical option is effective and comfortable for patients with gum disease.