Gum disease is extremely common, with roughly half of all adult Americans having some form of the disease. The good news is that if caught in the early stages, gum disease can be easily treated without threatening your teeth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
The first question we get from most of our patients is, ‘How can I tell if I have gum disease?’ Here are the five most common symptoms associated with this disease:
- Constant bad breath or unpleasant tastes in your mouth
- Tooth sensitivity and pain while chewing
- Gum recession and exposed tooth roots
- Redness and irritation of gums
- Bleeding when you brush
If you have any or all of these symptoms, it is extremely important that you tell your dentist immediately.
Gum Disease Treatment Details
Here at Essentially Pure Dentistry, we know how important it is to catch gum disease early, before it becomes a serious issue. When we discover the signs of potential gum disease, Dr. Pearson presents a customized treatment plan based on your overall oral health and the stage and severity of your gum disease. We start treatment immediately to minimize any potential risks. If your gum disease is in the early stages, a deep cleaning may help restore your gums to good health. A deep cleaning for gum disease is known as scaling and root planing and involves using special instruments to clean hardened mineralized deposits called tartar or calculus along and below the gumline. The cleaning also smooths rough surfaces on exposed tooth roots where bacteria can accumulate. You may benefit from antibiotic treatment in conjunction with root planing and scaling.
For more advanced forms of gum disease, our expert technicians use laser gum therapy to clean up toxins in the infected areas of the gums, which in turn stimulates the body’s immune system to heal itself and promote gum regrowth. Laser gum therapy is extremely safe, painless, and efficient. Depending on the severity of the gum disease, most patients experience a full recovery within just a few treatments.
Laser Gum Therapy Benefits
Laser gum therapy has a wide variety of benefits, including:
Periodontal Treatment Recovery & Aftercare
After laser gum therapy, light bleeding, swelling, soreness and tenderness are common. These aftereffects are only temporary and should be fairly mild as compared to traditional gum surgery.
Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing areas of your mouth around the treatment site. For the first few days after treatment, stick to a liquid or soft foods diet, consuming nutritious foods like scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt or shakes or smoothies. Take medications as prescribed.
Gum Disease Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between plaque and tartar?
Plaque is a sticky film that coats the teeth. If plaque is not removed with tooth brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar or calculus. Tartar cannot be removed with a toothbrush or floss; only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove it during a professional cleaning.
What are the risk factors for gum disease?
The following factors can increase the risk of developing gum disease:
- Alcohol use
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Inadequate nutrition
If you are at a heightened risk of gum disease based on one or more of the following risk factors, stay on top of your oral health with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits every six to 12 months.
How long does it take to treat gum disease?
Total treatment time depends on the stage and severity of your gum disease and the proposed treatment plan. Usually Dr. Pearson can treat gum disease within a few appointments.
What is the link between gum disease and other health problems?
When bacteria gathers along and below the gumline, the body reacts with an inflammatory response. Increased inflammation can elevate the risk of other health complications.
Gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and even problems in pregnancy like delivering a preterm baby.
Is gum disease genetic?
Research shows that people who have family members with a history of gum disease are more likely to get it themselves. If you have a family history of gum disease, be especially proactive about good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits.
What are periodontal pockets?
Normal, healthy gum tissue should wrap tightly around the teeth, similar to a turtleneck. Periodontal disease ravages the gum tissue and bone holding the teeth in place, causing the formation of spaces or “pockets” around the teeth. As the pockets get deeper, they make more room for bacteria to gather and further damage the gums and bone. Deep pockets are difficult to clean both at home and during a professional cleaning.
If you develop deep pockets around your teeth, a pocket reduction procedure may be recommended to remove the bacteria and enable the gum tissue to reattach to the bone.
Contact Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry Today
For more information about the symptoms and treatment of gum disease, Dr. Andie Pearson invites you to contact our practice. Give us a call or send us an email today.