The Progression of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation, bleeding gums, gum recession, pockets where excess bacteria can accumulate, and eventually, bone loss.
The primary cause of gum disease is plaque and tartar build-up. When these accumulate over time, they open the door for gum disease. This condition impacts the gum along with other areas of the mouth such as the gingiva, alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.
Early gum disease is known as gingivitis. At this stage, plaque build-up develops on the teeth and irritates the gums, making them inflamed, and prone to bleeding. If not cleaned away, the plaque will begin to harden into tartar, causing the gums to recede from the teeth. When gum disease reaches this stage, pockets of pus and bacteria may begin to form between teeth, causing increased gum inflammation and even bone loss.
If gum disease reaches advanced stages, the teeth will lose support as the condition of the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament deteriorates. Affected teeth will become loose and may fall out unless extensive treatment is administered.
If you have gum disease, our dental team will recommend that you visit the dentist for regular dental examinations and preventive therapy, usually four times a year to maintain your oral health and prevent further progression of the disease.
Recognizing & Treating Gum Disease
Early detection of gum disease is of the utmost importance when it comes to maintaining your oral health.
Several common signs and symptoms may indicate the presence of gum disease, like bleeding gums, swollen gums, red gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, and tooth sensitivity. By being vigilant and recognizing the warning signs, you can take proactive steps to prevent the condition.
At Brush Dental Clinic's two locations, we support your oral health and ensure that you maintain a healthy smile by offering services like gum disease therapy.
Preventive Gum Therapy
If your dentist has the opportunity to spot the disease in the early stages, preventive therapy will be recommended.
Regular hygiene cleanings and exams will become an important component of maintaining the health of your gums.
By practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and eating a balanced diet, you may be able to reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease.
Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
For patients with mild gum disease, the dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from around and below the gum line and smooth out any remaining rough areas through a procedure known as scaling and root planing.
When it comes to non-surgical gum therapy, it typically serves as the initial step in addressing gum disease. It is crucial for patients to adhere to the recommended treatments and maintain regular dental check-ups to ensure proper management of the condition.
Surgical Gum Therapy
More advanced forms of gum disease may require invasive surgical intervention in order to help resolve the issue.
There are a variety of surgical gum therapy options, including gum grafting, crown lengthening, frenectomy, and mucogingival flap surgery.
If you require surgical treatment for severe gum disease, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon or periodontal specialist for care.
Cosmetic Gum Therapy
If you have concerns about the aesthetics of your gumline, whether they sit too high or too low on your teeth, our dentist can discuss the possibility of cosmetic gum therapy. This can include gum grafting, which is used to level out an uneven gum line and reduce the perceived length of the teeth. Ultimately, the goal of cosmetic gum therapy is to give you a healthier-looking smile that you can be proud of.
Treating Gum Disease With Dental Implants
Often, those with advanced gum disease will lose teeth, which can lead to the development of additional oral health issues. The treatment for gum disease that has reached this stage may include the placement of dental implants.
For those who still have a healthy jawbone, a dental implant can be placed, and once the gums have healed, a tooth replacement can be added. By filling in the gaps left by missing teeth, this procedure may be able to help you restore your oral health, or at the very least, prevent further complications.