Gum Disease Treatment and Prevention
Gum Disease Treatment and Prevention
Taking care of your gums and preventing gum disease is an important part of your oral health. If you do not take care of your gums, you can develop gum disease, which can lead to other complications. Luckily, our dentist, Dr. Alen Gharibian, is an expert in gum disease treatment and prevention.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is any type of infection that affects your gums, the tissue that surrounds your teeth and helps keep them strong. You may hear your dentist refer to the earliest stages of gum disease as “gingivitis.” Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can cause your gums to swell, bleed, or be sensitive.
More serious forms of gum disease are called periodontitis, or periodontal disease. With this type of gum disease, you may experience your gums pulling away from your teeth or bleeding excessively, as well as other symptoms such as loose teeth, tooth decay, or even damage to your bone.
Gum disease is common in adults. Adults over the age of 30 are around 40% likely to have a mild form of gum disease. Adults over the age of 65 become 70% more likely to contract a form of gum disease. Gum disease can be treated, however, and prevented with the help of your expert dentist.
How Does Gum Disease Happen?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria build up in your mouth. This build-up of bacteria can happen for many reasons. First, if you are not properly brushing and cleaning your mouth, bacteria can grow. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, although it is best to brush after every meal.
Flossing at least once a day is also important in preventing bacteria build-up. Additionally, it is important that you see your dentist at least once a year for an annual checkup. This will help guarantee that your teeth get thoroughly cleaned and any bacteria removed. At your cleaning appointment, your dentist will also be able to see any signs of gum disease and treat it early before it causes any serious side effects.
Not cleaning your teeth correctly is another leading cause of gum disease. If you are missing parts of your teeth, not cleaning any dental hardware, or are flossing incorrectly, you can develop bacteria. It is important that you clean your teeth exactly as your dentist recommends.
Gum disease can also be caused by bad habits. Smoking or chewing tobacco or nicotine can cause a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. Smoking and chewing tobacco or nicotine can also lead to oral cancer, as well. Sugary food and beverages, coffee, alcohol, popcorn, and starchy foods are also a cause of gum disease. This is because these foods and drinks lead to plaque, which is the bacteria on your teeth.
Signs You Have Gum Disease
In its earliest stages, you may not notice that you have gum disease. It is important to catch gum disease early on so that your dentist can do a gum disease treatment and prevent it from developing into a more serious case. Signs to look out for include:
As gum disease progresses, you may notice more serious, uncomfortable side effects:
How Your Dentist Will Treat Your Gum Disease
Grafting Soft Tissue
One method of surgically treating gum disease is by grafting soft tissue. This is performed once the gum disease develops into periodontitis. When you have periodontitis, your gums pull away from your teeth. Periodontitis weakens your gums and can lead to further disease, loose teeth, and tooth decay.
Soft tissue grafting involves removing a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth and grafting it to the remaining tissue around your teeth. Doing this strengthens your gums.
If your periodontitis, or severe gum disease, has begun to affect your bones, you may have to have a bone grafting done. Donated bone or bone taken from another part of your body is grafted to the existing bone in your mouth. This helps your bones grow strong and healthy once again.
Tissue Stimulation or Growing
Your dentist may suggest that, instead of a bone graft or tissue graft, he performs tissue stimulation or growth, also called, “regeneration.”
During tissue regeneration, your dentist may place a small piece of fabric or other material between your bone, tissue, and teeth. This helps your bone regrow and prevents your tissue from growing too much. Tissue stimulation on the other hand includes your dentist applying a special formula to your mouth to encourage bone and tissue growth.
Root planing is an option for milder cases of gum disease, such as gingivitis. In this treatment, your dentist will smooth the roots of your affected teeth. This cleans bacteria and discourages new bacteria growth.
In this method for milder gum disease, your dentist removes build-up from your gums and teeth with specific tools. These tools may include instruments used to scrape your teeth or devices such as lasers.
Some forms of gum disease can be treated with medication. Medicated mouthwash, oral antibiotics, and antibiotic paste are all prescriptions that can help cure gum disease.
Schedule Your Gum Disease Prevention Appointment Today!
Having healthy gums is important to have a healthy mouth and body. Schedule an appointment with our dentist today and get help with gum disease prevention and treatment.
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