Gum Health Impacts Your Overall Health
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss. It can also increase the risk of several serious health conditions, including stroke and heart disease. Gingivitis is the starting point, and the condition worsens to the point of gum disease with more severe complications.
About half of Americans aged 30 or older have the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. That’s about 65 million Americans, making this a serious health concern. We strive to raise awareness of periodontal treatment options in our community.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
You may notice no obvious symptoms of early-stage gum disease. It’s often painless and difficult to detect without a trained eye. Eventually, you may start to notice some of these symptoms as the disease progresses:
The 2 Stages of Periodontal Disease
Stage 1 – Gingivitis
Gingivitis develops from bacteria accumulating in the mouth. The bacteria eventually leads to inflammation, which causes the gums to turn red, swell, and bleed when brushed. These symptoms may seem mild at first, but that’s the best time to see a dentist for treatment. A general dentist will detect gingivitis and can help stop the condition from progressing.
Prevention is always easier than treatment! We encourage you to seek dental care immediately if you notice any redness, swelling, or bleeding from your gums.
Stage 2 – Periodontitis
When gingivitis isn’t treated properly, the gums will eventually start to separate from the teeth. That leads to infected pockets in the gum that are sometimes painful. The pockets contain bacteria that carry toxins and trigger an immune response from the body. The result is erosion of bone and soft tissue that support the teeth, which eventually causes tooth loss.
At this stage, you need treatment from a periodontist. Immediate attention can limit the amount of discomfort and tooth loss you experience.
How can I be sure if I have gum disease?
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, we encourage you to bring your dental concerns to our attention as soon as possible. While there are other possible explanations for those symptoms, periodontal disease is the primary concern. The earlier we detect the problem, the more we can intervene to stop you from losing teeth.
When you consult with our team of highly trained professionals, we will assess your current dental needs and recommend the best treatments. Your care is always personalized to your unique needs.
Periodontal Treatments Available Today
Osseous surgery is also known as pocket reduction surgery or gingivectomy. There are multiple surgeries available, but they all share the goal of accessing the roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria. There are several benefits to completing osseous surgery:
Ridge augmentations are designed to help recreate the natural contour of your gums and jaw after a tooth is extracted. The procedure rebuilds the original height and width of the alveolar ridge, which is the bone surrounding the tooth roots.
While this procedure isn’t medically necessary, it’s often required for the proper placement of dental implants. It’s also suggested for aesthetic purposes at times.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planning are among the most common non-surgical gum disease treatment options in the earlier stages of development. The goal is to reach deep into the gum line with a special dental tool to remove bacteria and tartar buildup.
Think of it as a deep cleaning that goes where you cannot reach with a toothbrush and dental floss. The goal is to stop the progression of gum disease, or at least slow it down to protect against tooth loss.
Guided Bone and Tissue Regeneration
Guided regeneration is designed to help you regain a healthy bone structure and gum line. Specialists with advanced training and experience surgically position barrier membranes under your gum line. Those membranes promote healthy tissue growth and stimulate bone regeneration.
A sinus lift or augmentation is designed to raise the sinus floor to allow the formation of new bone in the upper jaw. Periodontal disease between the jaw and maxillary sinuses is repaired by adding fresh bone to the area. This procedure is sometimes required for the proper placement of dental implants.
Your frenum is the small tissue fold in your mouth that connects your lower gums to the bottom of your tongue or your upper gums to your upper lip. When the frenum is abnormally prominent, it can have a negative impact on your teeth, gums, and supporting bone structure. A frenectomy is the procedure used to correct that problem.
A frenectomy takes about 15 minutes to complete. The goal is to reduce the frenum to improve oral health for the long term.
Please contact our team today if you have questions about your gum health.