In this post, we will review the types of gum disease and the most common forms of treatments for each. Learn more about treatments so you can be prepared for a meeting with your dentist.
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, gum disease affects almost half of all adults in the United States and almost two-thirds of people over the age of 65.
There are three types of gum disease: Gingivitis, Periodontitis, and Advanced Periodontitis. There are some treatments available for each type, depending on how advanced the gum disease has become.
Once your gum disease has advanced from Gingivitis to Periodontitis, it is no longer curable though. It can be managed and controlled, and hopefully stopped from advancing, but it is something you will need to treat indefinitely.
When you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist should advise you about treatment options for your particular case. Follow your dentist’s instructions and you should be able to halt your gum disease from advancing.
If you believe you are experiencing signs of gum disease and may have it, please schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. The sooner you can begin treating the issue the better!
Schedule an appointment – Call (972) 964-3774
Only you and your dentist can determine a gum disease treatment program. We will review some of the most common treatments for gum disease below.
Gum Disease Treatments
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is caused by excess plaque buildup. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular cleaning by your dentist. With proper care, you can prevent it from advancing to an incurable form of periodontal gum disease.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to the more serious gum disease known as “periodontitis”. In periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth and this forms spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. There are many possibilities for periodontitis treatments; you will need to discusss with your dentist to see what will work best for you.
Your first step in treating periodontitis is a conservative, nonsurgical treatment called scaling and root planing.
Your dentist provides this treatment by scraping and removing the plaque and tartar off of your teeth and root surfaces by scaling, and then smoothing away any roughness on the roots to prevent bacteria from gathering again. This may take more than one visit and a local anesthetic can be used to prevent any discomfort. After this process, the gums will heal and reattach themselves to the healthy, clean surfaces of the teeth. Within a few weeks, your dentist will evaluate your healing and decide if further treatment is necessary.
Pocket Reduction Gum Disease Treatment
After scaling and root planing, if the gum tissue is not fitting snugly around the tooth and you can’t keep the deep pocket area clean, you may be a candidate for periodontal pocket reduction or flap surgery. By folding back the gum tissue, your dentist can remove infectious bacteria and smooth areas of damaged bone, allowing the gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone.
Gum Graft Treatment
Exposed roots due to gum recession can be covered with gum grafts, wherein gum tissue is taken from your palate or from another source and used to cover the roots of one or more teeth. Covering exposed roots helps reduce sensitivity and protects your roots from decay while stopping further gum recession and bone loss.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that promotes the growth of bone in an area where bone has been destroyed by periodontal disease. During this treatment, your dentist will eliminate bacteria and then place either natural or synthetic bone in the area of bone loss, along with tissue-stimulating proteins to help your body effectively regrow bone and tissue.
Careful home care is the key to keeping periodontal disease from rearing its ugly head. The care you give to your teeth after treatments will be critical and it’s likely your dentist will dedicate time to making sure you understand proper brushing, flossing, and dental routines.
We hope that this article gives you a general idea of the general gum disease treatment options available. We want to help educate and inform people so they can have the best smile possible.
Gum disease is a common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected. If you have seen blood when you brush or floss your teeth, then it’s likely this is an early symptom of gum disease – called gingivitis.
Many people have the thought that a little blood when you are brushing your teeth is normal. This may be a common issue, but that doesn’t make it “normal” or “healthy”.
Let’s review this list of nine facts about gum disease so that you know the truth and can make healthy decisions.
Gum disease facts
FACT #1 – Healthy gums don’t bleed
Healthy gums should not bleed when you brush them. Survey statistics show that although a majority of respondents agreed that spitting blood when you brush is a warning sign that something may be wrong, only 24% said it was something serious they should be worried about.
Healthy gums should be firm, pink in color and should not bleed when you brush or floss. If you are seeing these symptoms, you should bring this information to your dentist so they can advise you in order to protect your dental health. Gum disease is treatable early on but will get progressively worse.
“If you see any blood when brushing, then it’s important to take action to stop it from getting progressively worse.”
FACT #2 – Bleeding gums are caused by a build-up of plaque
The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque on teeth near your gums. Plaque is caused by bacteria in the mouth combining with saliva to form a sticky film. Plaque that is not removed will harden into tartar. This buildup leads to inflamed gums. Minor plaque can be removed and prevented by proper brushing and flossing. Serious tartar buildup will need to be treated by your dentist.
Although many people are concerned about their bleeding gums, they often don’t seek treatment because they don’t realize how serious the issue can be. Receding gums exposing more of the tooth’s root and will ultimately result in more serious gum disease symptoms. Receding gums cannot grow back by themselves, so once you have reached this level, you must seek professional treatment.
Fact #5 – Gum disease, even minor symptoms, is always a serious issue.
Gum disease is a progressive condition that gets worse. If left untreated, even bleeding gums will get worse and potentially lead to the most serious form of gum disease – periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause irreversible symptoms, such as receding gums and even tooth loss.
Fact #6 – You should visit the dentist regularly – even when you don’t have issues
Many people only visit the dentist when they have an issue or begin to experience gum disease symptoms. You should attend regularly scheduled check-ups as advised by your doctor. Your dentist may find signs of gum disease or other problems before you develop visible symptoms. This helps you and your dentist begin treatment to prevent issues from getting any worse.
Fact #7 – Brushing teeth too hard can cause bleeding gums
Brushing your teeth too hard can cause bleeding gums. You should not assume this is the cause of your bleeding gums though since bleeding gums could also be a sign of gum disease. It may be as simple as switching to a soft bristled toothbrush or changing your brushing technique, but you should alk to your dentist if you see blood when you spit after brushing your teeth.
Fact #8 – Bleeding gums do NOT affect only old people
Gum disease is much more common as you get older, but it can affect people of all ages. There are other factor besides age which can cause gum diseas though, such as poor brushing and flossing, smoking, genetics and family history, diabetes, and stress.
In this post, we’ll review the reasons why you should be flossing each day to help maintain good dental health.
Are you flossing your teeth each day?
We sure hope so! Unfortunately, studies have shown that almost one-third of U.S. adults never floss. The most common reasons people give as to why they don’t floss is that they just can’t find the time or that they don’t feel that they need to.
Since we’ve heard “I don’t know why I need to floss” so many times, we’ll review some of the reasons that you should.
Recently there have been stories in the news about the possible connection between gum disease and diabetes. We’re going to discuss some of the main points that you should understand. If you have further questions, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Diabetes effects more than 420 million people worldwide. Type 1 diabetes is genetic, so people are born with it, but type 2 diabetes can come on at any point in your life.
Many people are still not aware of the connection between diabetes and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.
Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes. Periodontitis is caused by bacteria and people with it will suffer from local inflammation triggered by those bacteria.
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they more susceptible to bacterial infection, with a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.
The good news is that gum disease does not cause diabetes.
Gum disease is often a symptom of diabetes, though, so if you are affected by periodontal disease, be sure to visit your medical doctor to make sure it is not a symptom a more serious health problem.
Gum disease is treatable. Depending on how severe it is, it can even be reversible. The key is to treat gum disease as soon as possible.
The goal of gum disease treatment is to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth. This will help reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, the risk of infection, and to stop gum disease from getting progressively worse. Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier
Gum disease treatment options depend on what stage of the process you are in, how far it has progressed, whether you have had earlier treatments for it and how you responded, as well as your overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues. A full description of the various treatment options is provided in Gum Disease Treatments.
There are both surgical and non-surgical options available depending on the seriousness of the disease. If you have an extreme fear of your treatment options, sedation dentistry may be an option.