What is Gum Disease?
The teeth's supporting tissues can become infected with gum (periodontal) disease. Typically, the condition is caused by poor oral hygiene habits that allow plaque to build up on the teeth and harden into tartar. This eventually affects the gums.
Those who smoke or have systemic diseases are also at higher risk for gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to numerous oral health issues including inflamed and bleeding gums, bacteria-filled pockets between the teeth and gums, a receding gum line, and eventual bone loss.
Gum disease can also affect your overall health. Many serious conditions such as heart disease have been linked to gum disease. This is because the pockets of infection caused by periodontal disease allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body.
Gum Disease Therapy
The type and severity of gum disease a patient has will determine which periodontal treatment methods are necessary. Our dentists will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your specific case and requirements.
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, our dental team will recommend that you come in for regular dental examinations and preventive therapy, usually four times per year.
- Preventive Gum Therapy
If the disease is caught in the early stages, preventive therapy will be recommended.
Regular hygiene cleanings and exams are important for maintaining the health of your gums.
By practicing good oral hygiene at home and eating a balanced diet, you can also significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease.
- Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
For patients with mild gum disease, a deep cleaning performed by a dental hygienist may be enough to reverse it.
The dental hygienist will scrape away the plaque and tartar around and below the gum line, and smooth out any rough areas left behind through a process called scaling and root planing.
- Surgical Gum Therapy
For patients with more advanced forms of gum disease, more invasive surgical treatments may be necessary to reverse it.
There are a few different types of surgical gum therapy such as gum grafting and bone grafting.
Cosmetic Gum Therapy
Do your gums rest too high or too low on your teeth? Perhaps you are unhappy with your smile. Gum grafting surgery may be an option for you. This cosmetic dental procedure can help to even out an uneven gum line and reduce the perceived length of the teeth to change the appearance of your smile.
Placing Dental Implants
Periodontics also includes the placement of dental implants beneath the gum line as part of the process to replace missing teeth. Once a dental implant is placed, the gums have healed, and a tooth replacement is added, this procedure can provide a number of oral health benefits.