Gum disease is also known as, Periodontal Disease. Gum Disease is an infection in the gums. It can progress to the bone if it is not treated. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults. It is virtually pain free; many patients do not know they have the disease. A key sign of Gum Disease is your gums bleeding when you floss. During a hygiene appointment, the hygienist will check for signs of this disease. They measure the depth of pockets that form when your gums are not next to your teeth.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque building up. If this Plaque is not removed, it will spread and create toxins. These can damage the gums. Gum disease forms just beneath the gum line creating pockets. These pockets are created because the gums are no longer touching the tooth. These pockets will hold and trap food & other debris.
Gum disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. The gums become red, swell, and may even bleed. At this stage, the disease is easily treatable and can usually be eliminated by flossing daily and brushing your teeth twice a day.
- Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. The gums and bone may become seriously and permanently damaged. With periodontitis, the teeth may become loose, fall out, or may need to be extracted by the dentist.
Periodontitis has now been linked to a variety of other systemic health concerns including:
These factors can increase your risk of developing gum disease:
- Using any form of tobacco or smoking marijuana
- Both forms of Diabetes
- Some medications, such as steroids, drugs used in treating cancer or epilepsy
- If your Bridge or Denture no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth not allowing you to floss or chew effectively
- Metal Fillings
It is possible to have gum disease and not know it. Do you have some of these symptoms?
- Flossing causes your gums to bleed
- Gums are red, swollen or sensitive
- Your gums do not sit up against your teeth
- Constant bad breath or nothing tastes good
- Teeth are loose or separating
- Changes in your bite or how your teeth come together
- A change in how your retainers or dentures fit
Our Standard of Care Includes:
- Debridement, or deep cleaning of all debris and toxins from the teeth and surrounding tissue. This is done by using a ultrasonic scalar and hand scaling. Our patients are kept comfortable with the use of the local anesthetic, Novocain.
- In some cases we utilize CO 2 laser therapy to sterilize all pockets (space between the gums and teeth). With repeated use, this will stimulate the gums to re-attach to the teeth and grow new bone.
- In cases requiring surgery; the dentist will utilize a Waterlase Laser to eliminate periodontal pockets and Emdogain™ to promote new bone growth.
- Nutraceuticals or vitamins; which are specifically formulated by the Pharmaden Company, are used to encourage healthy bone and gums.
- Our office uses a low-dose antibiotic, Arestin™, delivered under the gums or Doxycycline, taken orally to help fight infection and stop the progression of periodontal disease.
- Nitrous Oxide or Oral Conscious sedation is also available if you have high anxiety about going to the dentist.
We encourage our patients to use an electric toothbrush, a Water Pik (water flossing device), with an antiseptic mouth rinse, Perioguard daily.
Preventing gum disease
Regular dental checkups and an examination of your gums are important for maintaining the health of your body’s different systems and keeping a healthy smile.
You don’t have to lose teeth to show signs of gum disease. If you practice good oral hygiene at home, you will reduce your chances of ever getting it. You should brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily or after every meal, eat a balanced diet, and schedule dental cleaning to help keep your smile healthy. Gum Disease is a VERY SERIOUS & PREVENTABLE problem. If your gums are diseased; that disease gets into your body every time you swallow. It can cause SEVERE HEALTH issues; including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, premature births and even a miscarriage.
Please make an appointment today; the earlier it is treated, the better off you will be.