Gum Disease - An Overview
Gum disease is a chronic condition that affects the gums and bone holding the teeth in place. It can be the result of poor oral hygiene practices over time. When plaque is not removed by daily brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings, it can harden under the gums, leading to inflammation. Additional factors can increase your risk for periodontal disease. These include smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, the natural aging process, crooked teeth that are harder to clean, genetics, and hormonal changes.
Signs of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, include red, puffy, and bleeding gums. Early treatment can reverse the condition because the connective tissues and bone supporting the teeth remain intact.
Without treatment, gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, a more serious condition. The gums will slowly pull away from the teeth, leaving spaces called periodontal pockets. With time, the gum tissues may show significant recession, and bones supporting the teeth may sustain irreversible damage. Patients may suffer bone loss, loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss or the need for extraction.
At Blue Bridge Dental, we offer diagnostic saliva testing for more advanced cases to alert us of the presence, if any, of strains of bacteria linked to periodontal disease. Based on individual results, the right course of treatment can be followed to target these bacteria. This is important since these pathogens not only wreak havoc on your oral health, but there is also a clear connection to your body.
Studies have linked periodontal bacteria to heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and so much more. Screening is the first step in the early detection and treatment of these destructive pathogens, lowering your risk of gum disease and enhancing your oral and overall health.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
The first line of treatment for gum disease in most patients is a deeper cleaning known as scaling and root planing. With this procedure, we will use manual and ultrasonic techniques to remove any plaque or calculus collecting beneath your gum line. We also will be ensuring that root surfaces are smooth, which decreases reattachment by periodontal bacteria. With your comfort being a priority for us, topical or injected anesthetics may be suggested.
In most cases, scaling and root planing helps the gum tissues heal and tighten around the teeth. This prevents the gum infection and inflammation from progressing. In some advanced cases, we may recommend a referral to a specialist for more involved treatments, including periodontal surgery.
Gum Disease Treatment Aftercare
After treating gum disease, it is encouraged to maintain great oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. We will usually recommend recall visits every 3-4 months, during which we clean your teeth and evaluate the stability of the gum disease. Our goal is to maintain the health of your gums and teeth for many years to come.
Gum Disease Treatment Near Me in Allendale, MI
If you have symptoms of gum disease or want to learn more about maintaining a healthy smile, contact Blue Bridge Dental for a consultation. Our team is committed to offering exceptional care and service to prevent, treat, and manage your gum disease. Our goal is to keep your smile at its best. Call us at 616-217-3992 to schedule your appointment or request one online today!