Are your gums red, tender, swollen, or do they bleed when you brush your teeth? Do you have bad breath and hardened plaque buildup at your gumline? If so, you may be one of 80% of Americans who have gum disease. When plaque and tartar build up at the gum line, they emit bacteria that irritate sensitive gum tissue. As a result, gum disease sets in.
What is Gum Disease?
The bacteria behind gum disease eat away at the bond between teeth and gums. They thrive in dark, moist, warm pockets they create at the base of teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can progress to cause serious overall health concerns, such as increased risk of heart attack, stroke, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
At your checkups and cleanings, we’ll look for signs of gum disease. Found in the moderate to mild stage, gum disease can be treated with scaling, root planning, and antibiotic therapy. This procedure is often called deep cleaning. Scaling involves removing tartar from below the gum line, and root planning is the smoothing of teeth roots to eliminate areas where plaque tends to accumulate. After deep cleaning, patients are scheduled for frequent follow-up visits so that the hygienist can assess progress and help deter recurrence.
Will I Need to Visit a Periodontist?
If gum disease progresses past the point where deep cleaning is effective, specialist treatment is advised. At Brighton Family Dental Group, Dr. Kondrat is our Periodontist on staff. He’s actually a partner in the practice. Dr. Kondrat can perform specialist treatment, such as gum surgery, in our office. By removing diseased and dead gum tissue, the doctor facilitates regeneration of new, healthy gum tissue.
Gum disease is not curable. However, with regular dental cleanings and diligent oral homecare, you can enjoy restored oral health and reduce the potential for recurrence.