Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, continues to be a common health condition for many adults in the United States. In fact, two out of every five adults suffer from it.
Gum disease is a severe and inflammatory condition of the gums. If left untreated, it can lead to the breakdown of gum tissue and progress into tooth decay or loss. Here's what you need to know about gum disease, its symptoms, and how it's treated.
Signs of Gum Disease
Dental problems, particularly periodontal disease, can be excruciatingly painful and inconvenient. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact us immediately:
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Red or swollen gums
- Changes in the texture or firmness of your gums
- Sores on your gums
- Pus between teeth and gums
Our team is here to help if you are suffering from oral health issues — we will work with you to identify which treatment option is best for your unique case.
Treating Gum Disease: Deep Cleaning
The first treatment option, and the most recommended, is deep oral cleaning. We may perform scaling and root planing to control your infection. Scaling and root planing include removing tartar from the teeth and below the gumline, then planing and smoothing the tooth to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach. Finally, any bacterium that persists is destroyed with a laser.
Treating Gum Disease: Medication
Our dental team may also recommend a medication to help fight the bacteria in your mouth. Oral antibiotics can be prescribed for gum disease, including chlorhexidine, doxycycline, tetracycline, or minocycline.
Additionally, we may prescribe a topical gum ointment (such as Arestin), a prescription toothpaste, or an antimicrobial mouthwash.
Treating Gum Disease: Surgery
There are surgical treatment options to rid gum disease. Our team may suggest the following treatment options, depending on the severity of your gum disease:
- Gum graft surgery: to avoid bone loss or decay and treat sensitive teeth, we use tissue from another part of your mouth (such as your palate) to cover any exposed tooth roots.
- Flap surgery: gums are lifted to allow us access to the tartar deep behind the gum line. The gum is then stitched back in place, tight around the tooth, preventing more tartar from accumulating.
Treating Gum Disease: LANAP Gum Disease Treatment
At Lynn Dental Care, we offer an alternative to traditional gum disease care: LANAP Gum Disease Treatment. LANAP eliminates gum disease without using a scalpel or sutures by employing gentle laser light. Laser therapy ensures minimal bleeding throughout the procedure, which appeals to many of our patients.
Patients prefer LANAP to traditional gum therapy because it yields instant results with minimum discomfort.
Gum Disease Prevention
In the fight against gum disease, bacteria is to blame. Bacteria can form from food stuck between teeth or even due to certain lifestyle choices, like smoking. Our best prevention tips include:
- Brush for two minutes twice a day and floss once a day. If you are genetically predisposed to gum disease, you should consider using a periodontal mouthwash and oral irrigator to help better clean your teeth and gums at home.
- Quit smoking! When tobacco is consumed through the mouth, your gum tissue's functions are impaired, as are the bone and soft tissues of your teeth.
- Attend regular dental checkups. Regular dental checkups are crucial for identifying and treating gum issues before they become severe. You should schedule an appointment with us as soon as you notice changes in your gums.
Gum disease can be a severe threat to both your oral health and overall health if left untreated. Prevention is key to keeping your gums healthy but know that help is available if you need it.
Lynn Dental Care understands the importance of your smile. With a staff that treats you like family and over 40 years of experience, we don't just treat teeth — we treat people! To schedule your appointment or learn more about our periodontal health, cosmetic dentistry, and holistic wellbeing services, please contact us online or call us today at (972) 954-4434.