Treatment for Gum Disease

When it comes to protecting your oral health and smile through general dentistry, gum health is a vital component. Your gums protect the roots of your teeth and provide support. When the gums become inflamed, infected or diseased, it can impact both your oral and overall health. Gum disease is a prevalent oral health issue among adults that can lead to tooth loss and puts you at higher risk for serious health issues like stroke, diabetes and problems during pregnancy. At Curtis Family Dentistry, we can help you prevent and treat gum disease to protect your health.

Regular professional cleanings can help prevent gum disease by removing tartar and plaque. However, if gingivitis or gum disease is already present, treatment is needed to restore gum health. This can include deeper cleanings to remove tartar from below the gum line and medications to stop infection. More serious stages of gum disease can require surgery or other more invasive treatments.

Symptoms and Causes of Periodontal Disease

Gum disease occurs when bad bacteria flourish in the mouth. Brushing and flossing can remove these bacteria to some extent, but they hide in crevices and between teeth. When tartar buildup occurs, the bacteria hide in this hard substance and can cause inflamed or infected gum tissue.

In the early stages of gum disease, you may not have any noticeable symptom.  However, that does not mean your health is not at risk. As gum disease progresses, most people have some symptoms. This can include bleeding, swollen or tender gums. The gum tissue can also appear red, and some people have bad breath that does not dissipate with oral hygiene.

Prevention of gum disease is the best option, but catching it in the early stages and receiving treatment can reverse this condition. Routine checkups and cleanings are vital to monitor for signs of gum disease. Contact our office today to schedule a checkup and cleaning if you have symptoms of gum disease or it has been more than six months since your last cleaning.

How is gum disease treated?

The early stages of gum disease can usually be treated with an enhanced at-home oral care routine and routine dental cleanings. Advanced periodontal disease requires deep cleanings, which consist of scaling and root planing treatments. Scaling removes built-up plaque and tartar that has collected below the gumline in the gum pockets. Root planing smooths out the tooth roots and helps reattach the gums to the front of the teeth. No matter what stage your gum disease has reached, seeking treatment for your unique situation is crucial for maintaining positive gum health.

How often should I get dental cleanings if I have gum disease?

For many patients, two routine cleanings and exams per year are enough to maintain positive oral health. For patients with periodontal disease, however, three or four routine visits per year may be recommended to keep the teeth and gums as clean and healthy as possible. Scaling and root planing treatments can also be divided into multiple visits as well, depending on how severe the patient's case is. Our team can assess your teeth and gums and review your treatment plan to let you know how many dental visits we believe you should be scheduling.

What can I do to take care of my gums at home?

Scaling and root planing treatments are specialized services that can only be performed by trained dental professionals. However, there are things patients can do at home to help keep their gums looking and feeling great. Thoroughly brushing and flossing twice per day and rinsing with a prescription-strength mouthwash can help keep your gums in great shape. Quitting or reducing your tobacco usage is also crucial. Drinking plenty of water and eating healthy fruits and vegetables packed with vitamin C can also prove to be helpful in promoting positive gum health.

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