Complete Periodontal Care for Gum Disease
Part of caring for your smile involves caring for your gums. The soft tissue helps hold teeth in place and protects the sensitive roots of teeth. Gum disease can sneak up on people with even the most diligent brushing routine, so it’s important that you visit us for routine preventive care to let us take a good look at your teeth and gums.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease has a few different stages, but what it all boils down to is infection around and inflammation of the gums. The earliest stage of gum disease is one many people are familiar with: gingivitis. This stage is marked by red, tender, and inflamed gums. The gums may even bleed during brushing. If it’s not treated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. In these more advanced stages, the gums begin to pull away from teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can accumulate. Eventually, periodontitis can lead to bone and tooth loss.
Treating Gum Disease
When we see that gum disease is present, either during a routine appointment or because you’ve come in with symptoms, we need to act fast to prevent it from spreading further. In fact, if we catch it early enough, we might even be able to reverse the damage. With early-stage gum disease, we can perform a deep cleaning to remove the plaque and bacteria causing the gum disease. We may also provide a topical antibiotic to stop the infection. With more advanced periodontitis, we may recommend oral surgery using our soft tissue laser to remove the disease and restore some health to your gums. No matter what stage gum disease you have, though, it’s important that you come in as soon as possible so we can start the treatment process. Severe gum and bone disease that loosen up the teeth will require you to do to a periodontist in Houston.
Nonsurgical Treatments for Periodontitis in Initial Stages
If your gum disease hasn’t reached an advanced stage, you should act fast and treat it with some nonsurgical procedures.
- Scaling: This is a procedure that uses devices like lasers or an ultrasonic device to scrape all the plaque and tartar off your teeth.
- Root Planing: During this procedure, the root surface of your teeth is smoothened out to prevent further plaque buildup. It also removes all bacteria and helps reattach teeth to your gums.
- Antibiotics: There are a number of topical and oral medicines you can use to get rid of the bacterial infection and stop the progress of gum disease.
Surgical Treatments for Advanced Periodontitis
If you don’t act in a timely manner, your periodontitis may proceed to an advanced stage and you won’t be able to avoid surgical treatments.
- Flap Surgery: During this procedure, incisions are made on your gums to lift them up and perform scaling and root planing on the roots. This may also involve bone contouring depending on the amount of bone loss suffered.
- Soft Tissue Grafts: If you’ve lost some gum tissue due to the gum disease, this procedure is used to reinforce the soft tissues by extracting some of the tissues from the roof of your mouth.
- Bone Grafting: If the periodontitis destroys the bone structure around the teeth, this procedure uses small fragments of your own bone (from different parts of the body) or synthetic bone to supplant the lost bone and support the teeth.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration: The dentist uses a biocompatible fabric between the bone and teeth to facilitate bone growth and regeneration.
- Tissue-Stimulating Proteins: A special type of protein-rich gel is applied to the root of the teeth to facilitate healthy bone growth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
It’s easy to miss the signs of gum disease. Some professionals even call it “the silent killer” because of the way it sneaks up without warning. There are a few signs you can look out for and call us about if you notice them.
- Red, swollen, or inflamed gums
- Bleeding when you floss or brush
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from teeth
- Change in bite
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores
- Chronic bad breath or a metallic taste in mouth
Home Remedies to Prevent Periodontitis
If your gum diseases haven’t advanced, you can use some home remedies to slow down its progress while you seek treatment. It’s important to note that home remedies can’t cure gum disease, only slow down its progress, provide some temporary relief, or prevent it from happening altogether.
The following are some home remedies you can try to prevent periodontitis:
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four month so its bristles remain soft.
- Floss after every meal to get rid of all the food particles. You should generally floss all the way till your posterior teeth.
- Use an electric toothbrush or scaler to remove plaque and tartar.
- Use a mouth wash that’s recommended by your dentist to remove all the plaque.
- Don’t chew or smoke tobacco.
- Limit your consumption of sweets as they attract bacterial infections.
- Regularly visit your dentist for dental cleaning appointments as it’s impossible to get rid of all the plaque and tartar on your own.
- If there’s some issues — such as cavities — treat them immediately before they advance and lead to serious periodontal diseases.