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What is treatment like?
If you have gums that bleed or that are red, you may have a form of gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, involves the inflammation of the gums that surround the teeth. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, mostly because it doesn't produce any symptoms in the majority of people. If you think you have gum disease, please schedule an appointment so that Dr. Lukic and our team can examine your teeth and gums to determine the severity of your disease, find the cause, and create the right treatment plan for you.
How does gum disease develop?
When teeth have not been professionally cleaned regularly, plaque and tarter can accumulate on the tooth and below the gumline which can irritate your gums and surrounding bone and cause inflammation. When the gums are inflamed it can cause the gums to recede from the tooth and create large pockets, which are virtually impossible to clean with a regular dental cleaning or with a toothbrush. Only a deep cleaning can clean this area since special tools are used to clean below the gumline and into the pockets. If the plaque is left, it can cause permanent tooth and bone loss.
There are two types of gum disease:
Gingivitis can be reversed through daily brushing and flossing. It is considered the early stages of periodontitis.
Periodontitis involves the gums and bone and occurs when these become severely damaged. This is irreversible and if left untreated can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
- Red, puffy, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that are loose
- Pain when biting down on teeth
- Longer teeth
What are the risk factors for gum disease?
Teeth that are not straight or that are crowded
Using chewing tobacco or smoking
Gingivitis treatment - Gingivitis is treated by daily brushing and flossing. Cleanings are usually performed every 6 months. In research studies, gingivitis has shown to reverse itself in 10-14 days after brushing and flossing on a daily basis.
Periodontitis treatment (or Scaling and Root Planing)-
Deep cleanings are also knows as scaling and root planing. Scaling removes plaque and calculus both above and below the gums and root planing removes plaque and tartar from the root surface while smoothing the root surface. This procedure will usually require two appointments and dental anesthetic may or may not used. Sometimes, if the disease is too severe, a referral to a specialist is needed.
Post-op Care-It may take several weeks for the gums to become healthier. A follow-up visit is usually required to confirm that your teeth are improving and that large pockets are getting smaller.