Gum disease doesn’t happen overnight and is often the result of a gradual lack of adequate oral care. If the bacteria that dwells in our mouths isn’t eliminated, it turns into plaque. Plaque that isn’t removed turns into tartar, which can only be extracted from teeth through a professional cleaning.
Tartar buildup eventually leads to gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease. Fortunately, gingivitis can often be reversed simply by improving oral hygiene habits. However, untreated gingivitis will eventually turn into periodontitis. This more severe form of gum disease is the result of chronic plaque spreading beneath the gum line, creating a breakdown in the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. The gums pull away, and teeth may eventually become loose or even fall out altogether. In cases of tooth loss, a cosmetic dentist can help replace teeth in a way that is natural and seamless.
Fortunately for Dallas patients, various options exist for the effective treatment of gum disease. Furthermore, gum disease is highly preventable with proper oral care.
Gum Disease Treatment
The type of necessary treatment for gum disease will depend largely on the severity of the individual case:
- Medication: Certain medications are effective in combatting gum disease. They can either be used as a stand-alone treatment option in milder cases, or in conjunction with other treatments in more moderate cases.
- Deep cleaning: In some cases of gum disease, a deep cleaning of the teeth and mouth, known as scaling and root planing, is effective in treating the condition. This procedure involves removing all the tartar from the gum line and removing rough spots on the teeth where germs tend to gather, helping eliminate the bacteria that contributes to gum disease.
- Surgical treatments: In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary in gum disease patients, especially when medications and deep cleaning treatments are ineffective in reducing inflammation or deep pockets. Surgical options include:
- Flap surgery: This surgical procedure either removes the tartar deposits located in the deep pocket or makes the pockets less deep in order to make it easier to keep clean. The surgery requires lifting the gums in order to remove the tartar then putting them back into place.
- Bone and tissue grafts: In addition to flap surgery, your dentist may recommend restorative dentistry procedures to improve oral health, such as a bone graft, which replaces lost bone and helps regenerate bone and gum tissue.
Preventing Gum Disease
You can avoid the pain and cost associated with treating gum disease all together by practicing the following oral hygiene techniques:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss once daily
- Schedule regular professional cleanings
- Visit your dentist at least once a year
If you suspect you are beginning to show signs and symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait. Early detection can help you combat gum disease while it’s still in its earliest and most treatable stages.
Learn More about Gum Treatment
Gum disease is not exactly a pleasant diagnosis; however, it is a treatable and even avoidable one. If you would like to learn more about gum disease, its causes, how to treat it, and how to keep it from happening all together, schedule a consultation with Elegant Smiles Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.