Gingivitis and Periodontal Therapy in Swanton, OH
Periodontal (gum) disease is a problem that affects approximately half of all American adults age 30 and older, many of whom are unaware that they have the disease. This is because early stages of gum disease usually do not exhibit any visible symptoms. If left untreated, the disease can worsen, causing serious oral health problems, including tooth loss. In addition, research shows that gum disease is linked to a number of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The good news is that gum disease is highly preventable and treatable. At Dental Health Associates, our dentists have years of collective training and experience diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. Using the latest dental technology and methods, we ensure every patient gets the treatment they need to restore their oral health.
More about Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that is caused by the natural bacteria found in the mouth. The toxins produced by the bacteria damage the gums, connective tissue and bone that support the teeth. The early stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into more serious stages of periodontal disease, which can result in tooth loss.
The most common cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, which may include not brushing and flossing properly or regularly, and poor diet. Other risk factors include smoking, genetics and certain health conditions such as diabetes.
Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Bleeding gums (especially when brushing or flossing)
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between gums and teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Sores in the mouth
- Pain when chewing
- Change in your bite
Am I a Candidate for Periodontal Therapy?
Candidacy for periodontal therapy can only be determined during a dental exam performed by a qualified dental professional. Your exam will involve taking X-rays of your teeth and gums, as well as an oral evaluation to see if any of symptoms mentioned above are present. If you are showing serious signs of periodontal disease such as bone loss around teeth, deep periodontal pockets forming between teeth at the gum line, or loose teeth, prompt treatment may be recommended. Early stages of periodontal disease that may not be visible yet but detected through X-rays should still be treated before they worsen.
Treatment for periodontal disease is highly dependent on the severity of your case and symptoms. Before recommending a course of treatment, our team will thoroughly examine your gums, teeth and oral health history. Your treatment plan may include:
Root planing and scaling. If a routine dental hygiene visit is not enough to remove the bacteria responsible for gum disease, root planing and scaling is often the next step. This deep cleaning procedure is designed to remove plaque and tartar (which cannot be removed with regular brushing) and bacteria beneath the gum line. Root planing and scaling is often used to treat gingivitis.
Laser gum therapy. This minimally invasive procedure uses laser energy to precisely target infected gum tissue and vaporize bacteria without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue.
Gum surgery. Gum surgery may be necessary to help prevent tooth loss. Surgical treatments include periodontal flap surgery to reduce the pocket gap between the teeth and gingivectomy to remove excessive gum tissue.
Perio Protect®. If you prefer to not have gum surgery, we may recommend a non-surgical alternative: Perio Protect®. This comprehensive treatment combines dental hygiene visits with customized Perio Trays®, an oral appliance similar in design to a mouth guard, which uses a special system to deliver medication below the gums. The Perio Trays® help manage biofilm, which is the bacteria that grows in the pockets between the teeth and gums.
To learn more about the preventive and restorative options we can choose from to treat gum disease, please schedule a consultation with Dental Health Associates. Contact our Swanton dental office to speak to a member of our team today.