Gum Disease

From Gingivitis to Periodontitis

Gum disease affects tissues surrounding the teeth. As an inflammatory condition, gum disease can lead to red, swollen, and bleeding gums at its earliest stage (gingivitis).

Gums beginning to pull back from the tooth, bone loss, halitosis, and/or potential loss of the tooth can be signs of more advanced gum disease (periodontitis).

Gum Disease Stages

Recognizing and Treating the Progression of Gum Disease

Gingivitis: The earliest and most common type of periodontal disease occurs when plaque develops around your gums. Common symptoms of gingivitis include puffy, irritated, or swollen gums. If not treated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Most treatments will involve deep cleaning.

Early Periodontitis: If you don’t take care of gingivitis, it can result in early periodontitis. Typical symptoms include gum bleeding, bone loss, and plaque build-up below the gum line. When you reach this level, additional treatments may be needed, like deep cleaning, laser therapy, or a combination of both.

Advanced Periodontitis: The highest level of periodontal disease, advanced periodontitis, transpires when empty pockets develop between the teeth and gums. This will eventually show in the jawbone, resulting in jawbone loss. Treatment options include deep cleaning, laser therapy, and a bone graft.

Gum Disease Treatment

What & Why?

Recent surveys reveal that most adult Americans have some form of gum disease. Just under half of them (47 percent) have the more serious form called periodontitis. This gum disease is the primary reason for tooth loss today.

Gum disease will progressively become worse if it is not treated. It is caused by certain types of bacteria in the mouth, which feed on sugar, and when it does it produces acid. When the bacteria are left on the gums because of poor oral health, it forms plaque, which eventually forms tartar. The tartar forms above and below the gum line and it becomes filled with the bacteria. Soon, an immune reaction in the gums causes them to become inflamed, and the process continues and grows.

Because the bacteria are now in the gums and below the gum line, the person with gum disease is not able to remove it with either a toothbrush or by flossing. The tartar is also hard and brushing and flossing cannot remove it.

When gum disease goes from gingivitis to become periodontitis , there will be some new symptoms. Gum disease generally is not accompanied by pain, but you will likely have:

  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Spaces developing between teeth
  • Pus at the gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • Inflamed gums.

When you go to the dentist, your gums will be examined for their overall health. Pockets have formed on your gums that enable colonies of bacteria to multiply. The dentist will measure the extent of the damage from periodontitis with a probe to determine how deep the pockets have become. Most likely, an x-ray will also be taken to determine the extent of bone loss, if it has occurred.

Several types of gum disease treatment are available, and which one is used will be determined by the periodontist and the severity of the disease. They include:

  • Scaling and root planning – This is a manual process of removing bacteria in each pocket with a dental tool. This is followed by planning, which is smoothing out the surface of the tooth to make it harder for new bacteria to gain a foothold.
  • Medication – After scaling and root planning, some antibiotics may be placed into the pocket and stitched in place to destroy the bacteria and inflammation. A mouthwash or pill may also be prescribed.

If the above processes do not provide a benefit after a couple of weeks, the periodontist will need to perform surgery . Surgery may also be needed if the periodontitis is severe. Three types of surgery may be used:

  • Flap Surgery – This method aims to reduce the depth of the pocket and make it snug against the teeth, to keep out bacteria. The gums are slit open to expose the roots and then stitched tighter to close the gap.
  • Tissue grafts – Tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth and placed on the gums and stitched. This method helps replace lost gum tissue and recovers any tooth roots that have been exposed.
  • Bone grafts – In severe cases of periodontitis, the jaw bone is also partially eroded. In order to keep any surviving teeth in place, and to prevent further gum disease, the bone needs to be built up to where it can firmly support the teeth (dental implants).

After the first scaling and root planing, another appointment will be made so that the periodontist can recheck the pocket depth to ensure that healing is taking place and that the bacteria has not started multiplying in the pockets again. Many people do not need any further treatment if the healing is progressing well. A lack of success will likely mean that other surgeries will be necessary.

If gum grafting is needed, healing normally takes place within one to two weeks. You will need to eat soft foods until it does, and over-the-counter pain medication will likely be necessary. Local anesthesia is normally used.

Bone grafts will usually use a general or IV sedation. Afterward, they also require a diet of soft foods, and they need to contain high calorie, high protein foods. Take fluids regularly. Swelling of the jaw and cheeks are to be expected. Antibiotics and pain medications will be prescribed. Smoking should be avoided completely because it slows the healing process. It takes up to six months for a bone graft to heal completely.

Once you have periodontal disease, the dentist or periodontist will need to be seen regularly. These visits will help to ensure that it stays under control.

The benefits of gum disease treatment depend entirely on maintaining good oral care. Without regular brushing and flossing and a healthy diet, periodontitis will return and undo the work of the surgery. With good oral care, the treatment benefits can be expected to last a lifetime, and they include:

  • Disease-free gums
  • Healthy teeth
  • Even gums that look good
  • Teeth that are solidly in place
  • A better smile.

Dental Financing

Financing for Laser Gum Treatment

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Gum Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Smoking
  • Eating a diet that causes diabetes
  • Having Diabetes
  • Taking medications that lower saliva production

Indications of gum disease include:

  • Inflammation and red gums
  • Recurrent bad breath
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Painful chewing
  • Gums are tender or bleeding
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Gum disease is an infection and managing that infection is the first step. Treatment will be contingent on how badly the gums are damaged. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home will always be an important aspect of care.

Root planning and scaling can be performed when the disease has not progressed very far. Root planning smooths any coarse spots where germs and bacteria can collect and scaling is used to scrape off the tartar from below and above the gum line.

Laser therapy and pinhole gum surgery can be used to repair the damage the disease has caused to the gums. These are done when the gums have started to recede and have lost mass.

  • bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
  • pain at the gum line
  • tooth sensitivity at certain areas of your mouth from hot or cold temperatures
  • receding gums
  • persistent bad breath no matter how much you brush your teeth or eat mints
  • visible plaque around your gums or teeth
  • swollen gums

Raw foods, like fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and raw seeds and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchee have probiotics in them that are deposited onto your teeth, on your tongue and onto the roof of your mouth as well as along the gumline. They make up your mouth flora.

Dental Insurance

Insurance for Laser Gum Treatment

We Accept These Insurance Providers:

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Gum Treatment 500 USD offer carrollton