Understanding Gum Disease
Often called a “silent disease”, most patients do not realize they have gum disease until it is either spotted during a dental visit or begins to cause damage or severe symptoms. In many cases, it can lead to permanent damage to the soft tissues of the gums or even tooth loss.
Routine dental care is the key to avoiding advanced gum disease. These twice yearly visits allow us to look for the early warning signs of developing disease and offer treatment or make recommendations for at home oral hygiene to restore health.
There are two distinct stages of gum disease, each of which can have variations in severity and symptoms:
- Gingivitis: early stage gum disease often characterized by irritated, red or swollen gums that may begin to bleed or become sensitive.
- Periodontitis: advanced gum disease creates pockets where the gums begin to recede and separate from tooth roots, often causing tooth sensitivity and changes in the fit of the bite.
Common Causes of Bleeding Gums
There are a range of risk factors for gum disease and causes for bleeding and irritated gums. It is important to have your gum health assessed by Dr. Datta or a dentist at Ridgetop Dental to ensure that any necessary treatment is given in a timely manner to restore healthy gums.
Factors affecting your periodontal health can include:
- Lifestyle and dietary habits
- Tobacco use
- Medical conditions
- Certain medications
We will take the time to get to know you and understand not only the condition of your dental health but what other factors are affecting the health of your smile, providing individualized care and advice.
Treatment for Gum Disease
We will evaluate your oral health and the condition of your gums to determine the most appropriate treatment for existing gum disease. Your treatment will depend on the stage and severity of your periodontal disease, with the goal of addressing any damage and restoring long term health.
Dr. Datta, Dr. Sensenbrenner or Dr. Shaw will recommend one of the following treatment options to address your gum disease with personalized care:
- Antibacterial rinses: an at home treatment option for mild gingivitis or for chronic gum disease in patients at a greater risk
- Scaling and root planing: a thorough and intense cleaning that reaches into the deep pockets of the gum and along tooth roots
- Laser dentistry: the use of dental lasers to address gum infection and gum pockets can help patients avoid oral surgery and remove infection while also stimulating natural healing