Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that can cause irreparable damage. In the majority of patients, gum disease can be avoided through regular oral health care at home and routine dental well checks with professional cleanings.
Treatment for the disease depends on how far it is advanced. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The good news is that the symptoms of this earliest stage are reversible with prompt treatment. Most cases of gingivitis are treated with a professional deep cleaning and an improvement in the oral hygiene routine at home.
If patients do not seek treatment for gingivitis, it can progress into advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis. This stage of gum disease can cause irreparable damage including infection and shifting of teeth.
Scaling and root planing is the most common form of treatment for periodontitis. The goal of this therapy is to clean out the deep pockets between the gums and teeth where bacteria become trapped. Under local anesthetic, the dentist will clean out these pockets, removing any traces of plaque and tartar, reaching below the gum line. He will then smooth out root of the tooth to inhibit plaque accumulation. Once complete, antibiotics are placed in the pockets to help eliminate infection.
After gum therapy, patients will need to be diligent about oral care at home and may require frequent dental visits. Over time, the gums will heal and return to a healthy pink color.
The best way to avoid gum disease is to establish and maintain good habits at home. Brushing teeth at least twice daily, flossing once each day, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help remove harmful bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums. Knowing the early symptoms of gum disease is important to ensure that treatment is started as quickly as possible.