Gum disease and how to treat it:
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or gingivitis, is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums. It’s the number one cause of adult tooth loss.
It is critical to know the signs of gum disease and to seek early treatment.
Cause of gum disease
-Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque, which is that sticky film that forms on our teeth. If it’s not removed by brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into tartar and must be removed by a professional cleaning. Plaque is a host for bacteria, which multiply and can get down between the teeth and the gums. This causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, which creates pockets, which invite further bacterial growth.
Signs of gum disease:
-Red, swollen or tender gums
-Bleeding while brushing or flossing
-Pus between gums and teeth
-Persistent bad breath
There are two aspects to gum disease treatment:
-To control and eliminate the infection set up by the bacteria
-To restore gum and tooth health, so that the gums are again tightly enclosing the teeth, with no pockets for bacteria
You’ll be strongly encouraged to practice good dental hygiene – i.e., to brush after eating and to floss daily. Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth, as well as food particles.
Your dentist might recommend a an ultrasonic tooth brush, which can often clean more effectively than hand-brushing
To help improve the gum disease that is present, your dentist will do an extensive cleaning called scaling and root planing (SRP). This procedure will remove the tartar and plaque from the teeth as well as from their surfaces below the gumline. The planing puts a smooth surface on the teeth which both helps the gums grow back close around the teeth, and makes it harder for bacteria to get another foothold.
If the gum disease is far advanced, surgery may be required to remove the hardened plaque and to recontour damaged bone. Your dentist may recommend the use of antibiotics that can be placed within the gum pocket to help fight off the bacteria which cause gum disease.
Ongoing good dental hygiene is the way to prevent gum disease. If you’ve been having some gum bleeding or swelling, don’t delay in visiting your dentist, because gum disease is a vicious circle and the longer it’s allowed to continue, the harder it is to break that vicious circle. Eventually, you could lose all your teeth if no action is taken.
Your dentist can evaluate your periodontal condition and recommend treatment accordingly.
If you’re interested in the world-class Gum treatment performed at Albuquerque Delicate Dentistry, please schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Delic, through our treatment coordinator.