Gum disease can be both painful and embarrassing, and left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and bone and tissue damage. Stonebriar Family Dentistry understands how important healthy gums are to your oral health, and we offer periodontal therapy in our office to reduce pain and inflation, treat gum pockets to minimize bacterial damage, and clean your teeth, especially below the gumline, to help prevent future recurrence of the problem.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gums. There are two stages to gum disease: the early stage, known as gingivitis, consists of tender, swollen gums. You may notice your gums bleed easily, especially when brushing, and they may appear red or swollen. Bad breath that cannot be treated by brushing and mouthwash is another symptom of gingivitis. Gingivitis is uncomfortable and embarrassing, but damage to teeth, gums, and bone is minimal and reversible in this stage.
The late stage, called periodontitis, is more difficult to treat. In periodontitis, the gums have begun to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets at the base of the teeth that are perfect for accumulating bacteria. Teeth may become loose or fall out because of periodontitis, and tissue and bone damage can be a serious issue. Whenever possible, we want to treat gum disease before it reaches this advanced stage for the best outcome.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
If caught in the early stages, gum disease can be treated in our Frisco dental office. A professional cleaning with our dental hygienist is the first step in treatment. Scaling and root planing is a method of deep cleaning your teeth that goes below the gumline, removing tartar buildup that can cause your gingivitis to progress to periodontitis. If pockets have begun to develop in your gums, we can insert a local antimicrobial to assist healing of these pockets.
Once gum disease advances to periodontitis, surgical treatment is often necessary. These treatments can include grafts of bone or gum tissue, surgery to reduce the gum pockets that have developed, tissue regeneration, or reshaping of bone. If you are in need of surgical intervention, we are partnered with an excellent oral surgeon to help you receive the best possible treatment.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Controlling plaque buildup is the number-one way to reduce the likelihood of developing gum disease. Ways that you can control the plaque buildup on your teeth include:
- Proper daily brushing and flossing. Removing plaque daily before it can build up helps miminize tartar and keep gums healthy.
- Regular cleanings in our dental office remove the plaque and tartar that allow bacteria to infect the gums.
- If you are particularly susceptible to gum disease, we may also prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill stubborn bacteria and keep your gums healthy and safe.
Keep Your Gums Healthy – Catch Gum Disease Early
If you believe you may have gum disease and would like to find out what treatment options are available to you, contact our Frisco dental office today to schedule an appointment.