Gum Disease Treatments: Improving Periodontal Health
By on December 05, 2014
At Clarksville Smiles, we always strive to help patients have smiles that are healthy as well as beautiful. That means offering advanced general dentistry treatments that emphasize prevention, education, and total wellness. This applies to all structures of your mouth, especially the gums.
With this issue in mind, we'd like to turn our attention to the issue of gum disease and what can be done to treat it.
About Gum Disease
Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of your gum tissue. This is caused by the same bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth and causes tooth decay and bad breath.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages to gum disease. Listed in order of increasing severity, the stages of gum disease are as follows:
- Advanced Periodontitis
It's best to get gum disease treated in as early as stage as possible in which the gum tissue is still relatively healthy and the infection has not done severe damage. Early symptoms of gum disease include discolored gums, bleeding gums, sore gums, and bad breath.
Allowed to progress, the gum disease will cause recession of the gumline, exposing more of the root structure of the tooth to potential tooth decay. Other symptoms in more advanced stages of gum disease include loose teeth, changes in dental alignment, severe pain, and even tooth loss.
Getting the Infection Under Control
In order to treat gum disease, it's important to get the infection under control. This is often done with a combination of antiseptic solutions and antibiotics.
There are numerous methods of delivery for periodontal medication. The antibiotics may be ingested/orally, for instance, or they may be applied in the form of a topical ointment directly applied to the gums. Antiseptic rinses are also a possibility. Some patients may be provided special kinds of floss that help apply the antiseptic solution between the teeth.
The ideal kinds of antibiotics will be discussed with you during your consultation at the practice.
Treating Damage to Your Gum Tissue
In addition to treating the infection itself, it's important that dentists restore the damaged gumline. If caught and treated early, the damage to the gums is minor and patients may not require advanced periodontal therapies for treatment.
If patients have suffered gum recession, the ideal treatment will be the use of soft tissue grafts to help rebuild the gumline. This process is known as gum grafting, and it's effective for addressing varying levels of gum recession.
Treating Damage to Your Teeth
We noted above that a person's teeth can be affected by cavities and decay along the gumline due to gum disease. Given that, part of the treatment process will involve using dental restorations, such as fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns as needed. If a tooth is too damaged to be saved, we may have to discuss extraction and options for replacing the lost tooth, such as implant dentistry and/or a bridge.
Tips for Preventing Gum Disease
The best treatment is always prevention, so to help prevent gum disease, consider these basic tips:
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth every night
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups
Schedule a Consultation at Clarksville Smiles
To learn more about treating and preventing gum disease and many other matters related to your overall dental health, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team hear at Clarksville Smiles looks forward to your visit and helping your smile look and feel its very best.
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“Dr. Ribeiro has been my dentist for many years, and he has always provided exceptional service. His staff is very professional and courteous. They always go out of their way to ensure I have a pleasant experience.” Tina Reed