Periodontal Disease Treatment (Gum Disease)

Gum disease is a serious condition that affects people from all walks of life. Our dentistry provides periodontal services for all stages of gum disease to restore your oral health.

Periodontal Disease

Nearly half of all adults suffer from periodontitis to some extent—periodontitis is also referred to as gum disease and occurs when the gums are left exposed to harmful bacteria, tartar and plaque for an extended period of time. This can be caused by poor flossing habits and build-up between the teeth. If left untreated, it can progress and lead to bone and tooth loss.

Illustration of a bottom row of teeth showing signs of periodontal/gum disease with the gum line receding
  • What causes gum disease?

    There are three usual causes of gum disease. The first and most common is chronic periodontitis. This occurs when oral hygiene is neglected and bacteria accumulate beneath the gum line, eventually turning into a hard substance called tartar. Tartar is not easily removed by brushing and flossing and requires professional cleaning. If left untreated the gums become inflamed and damaged and bone loss occurs. The second cause is aggressive periodontitis, this is believed to have a genetic component as it shows up in a small number of families. It moves quickly and can even be seen in children. The last and the rarest cause is necrotizing periodontal disease. This can occur in people with immune issues and or chronic diseases. The soft tissues and bone are compromised due to a lack of blood flow to the area.

    Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
    You should talk to the dentist if you notice any of the following:

    • Your gums bleed easily
    • Sore gums
    • Bad breath
    • Gums that pull away from your teeth
    • Loose teeth
    • Pain when chewing
    • New spaces between teeth
    • Swollen gums
    • Pus forming between teeth and gums
    • A change in your bite

    The dental team can help determine how serious your issue is and what level of treatment you need.

  • What is gum recession?

    Receding gums affect about half of Americans over the age of 50. But, young people can experience gum recession too. You may be genetically predisposed to gum recession. Some people are born with thin gums. Other times the environment might contribute to recession. Things like aggressive brushing, trauma, surgery, or ill-fitting partials can cause recession.

    Treatment of Gum Recession
    If you notice a tooth looks long or you experience sensitivity or pain when brushing and flossing, you could have gum recession. Be sure to come in and have one of the doctor’s take a look. If you have recession we can typically graft a small amount of skin from your palate and patch it over the receding area. The treatment helps protect the tooth from further damage. It is a minor procedure that can be done for a single tooth or multiple teeth depending on your need.

  • How do I prevent periodontal disease or gum disease?

    Regular home care is critical to arrest the progression of gum disease. Within a few hours of a careful cleaning, the bacteria begin to repopulate and adhere to the teeth. Plaque left undisturbed will start to harden and mineralize within 24 hours. And deeper gum pockets require even more diligence to prevent the bacteria from burrowing further into the foundation of your teeth.

    Since the deepest sections of gum pockets previously damaged by bacteria can be difficult to reach at home, a particular maintenance schedule with us proves essential. We can customize your plan to include 2, 3 or 4 visits a year depending on the severity of disease and its response to treatment and home care.

    If our combined efforts don’t halt your gum disease, we will suggest referral to a trusted specialist, known as a periodontist. With specialized training in many gum conditions, further treatment may be recommended.

    Current research continues to establish clear links between bacterial disease in your mouth and ailments in other parts of the body. Studies show a link between oral bacteria and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers. The integration of oral and general health has never been better understood than it is currently.

    Bleeding gums provide a direct pathway into the bloodstream, a journey that toxic oral bacteria can quickly take. In fact, if bleeding gums connected into one single patch, it would create a 2 x 2-inch square. If an open wound of this size existed on your skin, infection would be a concern. Bleeding, infected gums offer this open door to your body and sit saturated in colonies of bacteria. This helps explain why researchers continue to identify oral bacteria deposits in various areas of our bodies.

    Diabetes and other auto-immune disorders lower the body’s ability to fight infection, allowing uncontrolled gum disease to advance faster and with more destruction. Research also confirms that the inflammation in the mouth can aggravate diabetes, making it harder to control. This two-way relationship between two chronic conditions emphasizes the importance of optimal oral health.

What are you waiting for?

We strive to provide high-quality dental care. Schedule an appointment today to discuss whether dentures are right for you.