Gum disease is the single most prevalent disease in the United States affecting more people than heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and cancer combined. About 80% of the US population has some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, periodontitis (advanced), and gingivitis (mild). Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support teeth. It starts when the plaque in your mouth hardens into tartar (also called calculus) below your gum line. The result is irritated soft tissues that can lead to infection. If you combine this with decaying food particles lodged between teeth and bacteria emitted by plaque, the infection can spread quickly.
Gum Disease Symptoms
If plaque builds up without proper cleaning, gums become infected and the bone tends to recede. Teeth may become sensitive and may even be lost if the disease is permitted to escalate. In addition, the other signs of gum disease are:
- Bleeding gums during tooth brushing or otherwise
- Sensitive, red or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that are loose or appear to have shifted
Gum disease is a serious disease because it has been linked to increased risk for major overall health problems, including but not limited to stroke, heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, diabetes complications, low birth weight, and most recently, dementia. This is why regular dental checkups are so important to the overall health of your body.
Gum Disease Treatment - Periodontal Therapy
The truth about gum disease is that it is not curable. We can however, detect early warning signs of gum disease at your regular dental checkups. At this stage, prevention is easier and may include something simple like changing your brushing technique, improving your flossing routine, or changing the products you use for oral care at home. If gum disease has set in, we can often treat it with non-surgical therapy including:
- Scaling – to remove hardened plaque from below the gum line
- Root Planing – to reduce rough areas on teeth roots
- Antibiotic Therapy – to battle infection
- Laser Treatment – to remove bacteria and promote gum reattachment
Advanced cases may require the care of a periodontist, in which case we will refer you to a trusted colleague who can perform the oral surgery required to remedy your oral health.
Laser Treatments for Gum Disease
In combination with comprehensive periodontal therapy, a diode laser for soft tissue procedures can remove and reduce some periodontal infection. Laser Therapy treatment also promotes reattachment of gum tissue to teeth. The healing times are quick and the procedure is precise and conservative in comparison to traditional therapies. For more information about gum therapy or to schedule an appointment please contact us at (918) 528-3330 today.