Gum disease is one of the most prevalent oral health problems, and, if left untreated, it can lead to serious problems. Fortunately, gum disease is treatable. At our San Diego cosmetic dentistry practice, Scripps Center for Dental Care, we offer this overview of gum disease treatments.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissue caused by plaque build-up and bacteria. There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. As the disease progresses and the infection worsens, periodontitis will set in. The signs for each stage are different and as follows:
Gums bleed while brushing
Gums bleed while flossing
Red, swollen gums
Tender or sore gums
Red, swollen gums that bleed easily
Infection beneath the gum line including within the jaw bone
Gums begin to pull away from the teeth
Pus along the gums
Constant bad breath
Treatments for Gum Disease
There are different treatments for gum disease; the therapy that is right for each patient will depend on the severity of the infection. For those with mild gingivitis, simply brushing and flossing regularly, along with regular dental cleanings, can eliminate gum disease. For those with more severe periodontitis, surgical intervention may be necessary. Possible treatments for gum disease include:
Regular Brushing and Flossing: Thoroughly brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will not only reduce a patient’s chances of developing gum disease but also can reverse the early stages.
Using Antiseptic Mouthwash: Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash helps reduce bacteria in the mouth and the risk of gum disease.
Antibiotics: For those with more severe gum disease, antibiotics may be prescribed. Often times, antibiotics are used in conjunction with other gum disease treatments.
Root Planing and Scaling: Root planing and scaling is a deep cleaning treatment in which the teeth are cleaned well below the gum line to remove build-up of plaque and tartar.
Gingivectomy: A gingivectomy is a procedure in which diseased gum tissue is removed and the gums are reshaped.
Flap Procedure: For severe gum disease extending well below the gum line and down to the jaw bone, the flap procedure may be necessary. The flap procedure involves cutting the gums, and creating a flap to allow access to the tooth’s root and the jaw. The tooth root will be cleaned and the jaw bone repaired.
Gum Surgery: Gum surgery may be needed if the gums have pulled away from the teeth. If gum tissue is lost, a gum graft may be performed.
Bone Grafts: Gum disease can infect the jaw bone which may require repair. The damaged bone can be repaired with a graft of synthetic material or bone from another part of your body.
Untreated gum disease can lead to serious oral health problems. We offer a number of treatments to our patients in San Diego. Dental implants, crowns, and other treatments can restore the look and health of the smile. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation.Contact Us