It’s easy to get caught up in the condition of your teeth and forget about your gums, but they are equally as important when it comes to your oral health. Without healthy gums, your teeth won’t stay in your mouth for very long, which is why we offer multiple treatments to manage gum disease should it develop at any point. If you notice any symptoms, such as bleeding while brushing, tenderness, soreness, or inflammation, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Gum disease can be difficult to catch on your own, which is why it’s important to maintain routine visits at our office. However, if you notice any of the following, you should visit our office as soon as possible:
During your appointment, we’ll stay on the lookout for the common signs of gum disease as well as measure your current pocket depth. The deeper the pockets of your gums, the more severe your gum disease has become. Healthy mouths typically have a depth of 3 millimeters, while gums with a depth of 4 millimeters or more are suffering from gum disease or the more advanced form, periodontitis. We’ll also perform X-rays to confirm if bone loss is present.
Gum disease most often occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene, but some patients can be more susceptible to it than others as a result of genetics as well. If you don’t brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste or floss daily, bacteria can feed on the sugars and starches in your mouth and develop plaque acids, which directly attacked teeth and gum tissue. Those who use tobacco or have poor diets can also expect a higher risk of gum disease.
Treatment can vary significantly depending on how severe your gum disease actually is. For example, if you have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, we would recommend methods to improve your oral care habits as well as a thorough cleaning at our office. For more advanced forms, we may recommend, scaling and root planing and antibiotic therapy as well as routine follow-up visits to make sure your gum disease is under control.
Scaling and root planing is the standard for most advanced levels of gum disease. Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, while root planing works to smooth out the roots of teeth so they can better re-attach to the gums, preventing the risk of future infection.
As part of your scaling and root planing treatment, we’ll also perform antibiotic therapy as a way to promote faster healing of your gum tissue and reduce the risk of your gums becoming infected again later. We’ll place a small amount of the antibiotic in the deep pockets of your gums so they can slowly release over time, healing your gums better than scaling and root planing alone.
Keep in mind that gum therapy often takes more than one visit to complete. Not only do your gums need time to heal after initial treatment, but they also require retreatment every three to four months so they don’t become infected once again. We’ll always make sure to schedule follow-ups so we can monitor your condition and make sure your gum health improves.
Gum disease can be hard to detect, but the good news is preventing gum disease is as easy as practicing daily brushing, flossing, and committing to routine dental cleanings and exams. While you should maintain a good at-home oral care routine, it also helps to consider the medications you take and whether or not they increase your risk for dry mouth. Dry mouth can increase your risk for decay and gum disease. You’ll also need to make sure your diet is balanced and that you’re drinking plenty of plain water throughout the day.
Once we complete a detailed diagnosis of your current gum health, we’ll take the time to go over your necessary treatments before providing a detailed cost of your care. Since every patient is going to have their own unique needs, it’s important that we establish them ahead of providing a specific price of treatment. Regardless of your needs, we’ll make sure to help you create a financing plan that fits your budget.