Gum disease is a rather serious condition that currently affects up to 65 million people across the United States. As one of the leading causes of tooth loss (along with tooth decay), part of what makes gum disease so dangerous is that it is capable of lurking undetected for quite some time before becoming incurable.
When you visit our office, and we recommend better flossing habits or gum care, it’s because we want to see your smile thrive without the presence of this condition. We always give special attention to the soft tissues surrounding the teeth, ensuring you are notified if we detect gum disease.
If you are currently suffering from, or suspect you may have gum disease, call our office as soon as possible for recommendations to reverse the condition or get treatment to keep the teeth and gums healthy. We offer many options for advanced cases of the disease and will partner with you to ensure the best care of your smile! Call our Temple Terrace, FL, office today!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a condition that occurs in multiple stages, each becoming more severe as the disease spreads and affects more of your gums and teeth. These stages are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
- Gum disease begins due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar along the gum line which surrounds the teeth.
- This bacteria irritates the gum tissue and causes it to recede, leading to sensitivity in the tooth as the root becomes exposed; in addition, the gums may appear red and swollen.
- As this persists, pockets form between the teeth and gums as the gum tissue withdraws from the bacterial film covering the teeth.
- Consequently, more plaque and tartar form in the pockets, out of reach from your toothbrush.
- At this point, the condition begins to attack the supporting structure of the teeth and continues forming deeper pockets as the gums and supporting ligaments pull away.
- Over time, teeth will become loose and eventually may fall out.
Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis – If you have gingivitis, you may notice swollen gums or bleeding when you brush or floss. You may also experience bad breath, despite brushing, and receding gums. Many patients detect this recession by noticing that teeth appear longer or there are dark triangles between the teeth. This stage of gum disease can be reversed by better flossing and brushing; we also recommend that you visit us for a cleaning, so we can remove any plaque or tartar.
- Periodontitis – At this stage in gum disease, the condition becomes irreversible. However, we can still treat the gums and teeth to protect them from worsening symptoms. Symptoms of periodontitis include sore, red, irritated gum tissue that bleeds easily and further gum recession. This stage of the disease must be diagnosed in our office by measuring pocket depth with a periodontal probe.
- Advanced Periodontitis – As the final stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis will have caused irreversible damage to the bone supporting your teeth. Symptoms of advanced periodontitis include loose teeth, pus surrounding the tooth base, extreme temperature sensitivity, pain, and bad breath.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure we offer in-office to remove the accumulation of plaque and tartar from the pockets surrounding the teeth. This is performed by using a scaling tool to scrape away bacteria from the teeth, both above and below the gum line.
Once this is done, we perform root planing by smoothing out the structure of the tooth roots. This resurfaces the bone and gets rid of any hallowed areas or damaged surfaces, preventing bacteria from accumulating in these spaces in the future.
Lasers are incredible tools for gum disease treatment. These devices utilize ultimate precision to target only diseased tissue while leaving healthy gums and bones untouched. As a result, more of your natural oral anatomy is preserved! Outcomes of lasers used in the treatment of gum disease are overwhelmingly positive, with many patients experiencing less pain or swelling during recovery. In addition, lasers perform multiple operations at once during gum disease treatment; some of these functions include:
- Removal of diseased tissue
- Formation of clots to reduce bleeding
- Kills disease and bacteria in pockets
- Stimulates healthy tissue regrowth
- Sterilizes the wound for quick healing
Your Partners In Fighting Gum Disease
While we recognize that gum disease can be a concerning condition, it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your smile or disrupt your life! By receiving treatment as soon as possible, your oral health can improve, and you can get back to feeling your best and showing off your brightest smile. Allow us to support you by treating your teeth and gums with the best skill, techniques, and technologies available today! That way, you can have no doubt your smile is in the best hands.