How To Prevent And Treat Gum Disease
- February 1, 2018
You know that healthy teeth are required for a beautiful smile. But if your gums aren’t in good shape, it’s likely that the appearance of your smile is suffering.
Roughly half of American adults are living with an aggressive form of gum disease called periodontitis. In the same way that tooth decay can damage your teeth, gum disease is an infection that can cause gum recession, bad breath, and all around discomfort.
But here’s some good news: With the help of Gentle Dental Care, you can restore even badly damaged gums! And in doing so, you’ll improve your oral health and overall wellness.
In honor of Gum Disease Awareness Month, we wanted to share some information about how you can protect your gums for a healthier smile. Then, if you’re looking for comfortable gum disease treatment in Plainville, CT office at (860) 479-2397 to schedule an appointment.
1. Prevention Is Key.
In sports, people often say that the best defense is a good offense. It’s kind of the same when it comes to your dental health. In its early stages — when it takes the form of gingivitis — gum disease is fairly easy to cure. But, if it worsens, the infection can only be managed. And managing gum disease, particularly if has caused considerable damage to your gums, can seem like a bit of a hassle.
It’s always better to prevent gum disease. And luckily, it’s pretty easy to do. Flossing once a day is effective at reducing your risk of gum disease. Unfortunately, studies show that one in five Americans never flosses! This is likely part of the reason so many adults in the U.S. are living with gum disease.
Routine dental checkups and cleanings are also helpful; they make it more likely that the early signs of gum disease will be detected and addressed in a timely fashion.
At Gentle Dental Care, a periodontal exam is a standard part of your routine checkup. We assess the health of your gums, as well as the bone that supports the gum tissue. We’ll also remove the tartar — or hardened plaque — from above and below the gumline that has built up since your last appointment.
2. When Necessary, Go For A Deep Cleaning.
Sometimes during these routine appointments, our talented hygienists will notice some of the signs of gum disease. Those include:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that bleed while you brush or floss
- gumline recession
- Loose or shifting teeth
And when that happens, we often recommend a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. We’ll numb your gums and remove bacterial buildup from below your gumline. Then, we smooth the roots of your teeth to discourage future bacterial buildup.
3. Eradicate Infection With Antibiotics.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria, so it makes sense that medication could help facilitate healing. Particularly for very aggressive cases, we’ll prescribe antibiotics to help eradicate the infection.
Then, once the infection is gone, we can get to work repairing damaged tissue.
4. Repair The Damage With Gentle Treatments.
In cases of advanced gum disease, the gum tissue can pull away from your gumline’s natural position, creating “pockets” or gaps that expose the roots of your teeth. This compromises the health of your tooth roots, leaving them vulnerable to decay and infection. When the roots of teeth become infected, it could require a root canal or tooth extraction.
If your gums have receded, it’s important to restore a healthy gumline as part of your gum disease treatment. Your gums protect your teeth, so your smile depends on it!
At Gentle Dental Care, we offer surgical periodontal treatments that use a state-of-the-art soft tissue laser. This piece of technology may sound intimidating, but it actually allows us to work more precisely — which means better results for you — and in a way that’s more comfortable than conventional methods.
Depending on your case, we might perform a gingivectomy, which removes a small amount of gum tissue as a means of eliminating pockets. Another common procedure for correcting gum recession is gum grafting. This treatment involves taking a small amount of healthy tissue and securing it over your receded gumline.
And to further minimize stress and discomfort during these procedures, we offer three forms of dental sedation:
- Nitrous oxide
- Oral sedation
- IV sedation
We can help you determine which one is best for your needs. But no matter which one you choose, you’ll feel confident in the care you receive. Dr. Peltzer is a nationally recognized expert in the field of sedation dentistry, and he goes above and beyond to ensure your safety and comfort.
Let’s Work Together Toward Improved Gum Health
If you suspect you’re living with gum disease, or if it has simply been a while since your last dental checkup, give us a call! We pride ourselves on providing high-quality dental care in a comfortable environment.