Gum Disease Treatments
Periodontal disease (a.k.a. “gum disease”) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.
At Dunes Dental Services, we monitor you at your routine cleanings and exams for early signs of gum disease so we can prevent bigger problems from developing down the road. Prevention is key, and this starts with your at-home care.
The Progression of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes your gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate your gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. However, untreated, your teeth can eventually become loose to the point that they have to be removed.
Gum Disease Treatment (Scaling and Root Planing)
To treat the earlier stages of gum disease, we will carefully clean your root surfaces with scaling and root planing. This removes plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and smoothes the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. This type of non-surgical periodontal treatment does have its limitations though, and the majority of patients with gum disease will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health.
If scaling and root planing is not enough to resolve your periodontal issues, surgical options may be needed to restore your health. Dr. Alina will discuss the options in depth with you. Visit our Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation page to read more about a cutting-edge treatment that we offer for gum rejuvenation.