Gum Disease Treatment

Gum Disease Treatment

Our doctors and hygienists can handle gum disease, from mild to severe.

Gentle, non-surgical treatment for mild to severe gum disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults over 35, yet it can be prevented with proper oral care. Regularly scheduled professional cleanings, in combination with daily brushing and flossing, can keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, when gum disease does occur, our team is well equipped to treat it.

We treat gum disease in all stages, from mild to severe, without surgery. Our team uses ultrasonic scaling for deep cleaning, and lasers to remove diseased tissue and disinfect gums. With DNA saliva testing, we can pinpoint the specific strain of bacteria present and prescribe the best antibiotic to eliminate it.

Assessing your level of Gum Disease

We will gently probe the space between your teeth and gums – called a “pocket” –  to accurately measure and chart the depth.

pocket depths and gum disease

Healthy gums

Healthy gums are firm, pink and do not bleed easily. There is no recession of the gums, and teeth are held firmly in place with no damage to supporting bone structure.

Mild gum disease (gingivitis)

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is caused by the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and is easily reversible with professional cleaning and good oral home care.

Moderate gum disease (mild periodontitis)

Pocket depths of five to six millimeters indicate the presence of moderate periodontitis. We treat this stage with scaling and root planing, a process of cleaning below the gum and smoothing the surface of the tooth to deter bacteria and allow the gums to reattach. We may also use a soft-tissue laser to disinfect pockets and insert a local, time-released antibiotic.

Severe gum disease (moderate to advanced periodontitis)

When pocket depths reach seven millimeters or greater, you are at the highest risk for irreversible damage. Severe gum disease can lead to bone and tissue destruction. The most advanced form of this disease includes extensive bone loss, and teeth often become loose and may have to be removed.

We treat severe gum disease with deep cleaning below the gum line and a soft-tissue laser to disinfect the pocket. We also use DNA saliva tests to pinpoint the specific bacteria present in your mouth so that we may prescribe an antibiotic that eliminates that particular strain.

Our effective & gentle Gum Disease treatment

We employ the necessary combination of the following methods to eradicate gum disease, and provide coaching to help you take control of your oral health at home.

  • piezo ultrasonic scaler for deep cleaningUltrasonic scaler

    Ultrasonic scalers use vibrations to gently remove hardened tartar. They are often considered to be more effective than hand tools for treating pocket depths of four millimeters or more because the specially designed tips can reach deeper into the gum pockets, as well as into nooks and crannies. Ultrasonic scalers are also equipped with a water flow that flushes away bacteria and promotes healing.

    Deep cleaning can be completed in a shorter time than with hand tools, and the small tips make the process more comfortable for you.

  • Gum Disease TreatmentNon-surgical laser therapy for gum disease

    Handheld diode lasers offer a gentle, non-invasive means of treating gum disease without scalpels and sutures. The precise incision of the laser removes diseased tissue and eliminates bacteria while leaving healthy issue intact.

    Lasers seal blood vessels as they cut, so there is no bleeding and minimal swelling. Treating gum disease with lasers rather than scalpels greatly reduces the time of the procedure itself and the post-operative healing process.

  • Gum Disease TreatmentOral DNA testing

    Research over the past 10 years has shown that genetics contribute to a person’s susceptibility to gum disease. We perform DNA testing so that we can determine the best antibiotic treatment to combat your periodontal disease.

  • Gum Disease TreatmentEliminating bacteria with antibiotic therapy

    ARESTIN® therapy contains tiny microspheres filled with a powerful, time-release antibiotic. These microspheres are placed exactly where you need them, between the teeth and gums, to help eliminate any bacteria that may remain after a scaling and planing procedure. However, treating the diseased pockets with soft-tissue lasers eliminates the need for antibiotics in the majority of cases.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums that are pulling away from teeth
  • A change in your bite (how your teeth meet)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Signs of infection, such as redness, swelling or pus

Importance of Oral Health

Gum disease and women

gum disease and womenThe hormonal changes that women experience during various stages of their life can affect the flow of blood to their gums and increase their risk for gum disease.

A common side effect of oral contraceptives is inflamed gums, and as women reach menopause they may experienced a decrease in the saliva flow that rinses away bacteria and debris.

Women who are pregnant also need to be diligent with their oral care, as any infection they have can pose a risk to their unborn child.

Gum disease and heart disease

gum disease and heart diseaseWhile a clear, precise scientific link between heart disease and gum disease has yet to be established, the two diseases do share  common denominators. Similar types of bacteria and inflammation are present in both conditions. C-reactive protein (CPR) is elevated with moderate to severe gum disease and is also used to access risk of a heart condition.

Although there is no general consensus regarding the relationship between gum disease and heart disease, experts do agree that it is important to take care of all aspects of your health, including your oral health.

To make an appointment, call 910.218.9699 or click here to request an appointment online.