Gum disease is an infection of the gums that occurs when plaque and tartar build up in the mouth. This plaque and tartar buildup leads to inflammation of the gums as well as the destruction of the soft tissue and bone, leading to gum pockets that trap infection-causing bacteria. Receiving professional periodontal care from Smileplicity Dentistry as soon as possible is critical to your oral health. Contact our dental office in Raleigh today to get started.
The early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) presents with mild symptoms that are easy to glance over. These symptoms include gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, tender, and are beginning to recede. At this point, it is important to get treatment in Raleigh.
The signs of periodontitis include pain when chewing, tender & bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, gum recession, changes in your bite, bad breath, or a bad taste in the mouth. We can also diagnose gum disease based on gum pocket depths.
A gum pocket depth of 1-3mm is considered normal. However, gum pocket depths that exceed 3mm indicate gingivitis, and depths greater than 4mm indicate periodontitis. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, contact us at Smileplicity Dentistry to schedule an appointment with Dr. Daiana Atari.
Almost half of all people will have gingivitis at some point in their life. However, this early stage of gum disease can be reversed with a prophylactic cleaning, also known as a traditional dental cleaning, in some cases.
During this cleaning, we remove plaque and tartar buildup with a scaler. As long as you continue to practice good oral hygiene at home and return for regular cleanings and checkups, the gingivitis should clear up.
Scaling & Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
Deep cleaning is a professional cleaning that combines scaling with root planing. The scaling is similar to the scaling that is performed during a traditional dental cleaning, where we remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from around the gum line.
However, in a normal dental cleaning, this buildup is only removed from above the gumline. In a deep cleaning, we thoroughly clean over and under the gum line, all the way down to the root.
Then, we will smooth out the roots of your teeth to further remove bacteria, smooth out rough surfaces, and prime the gums for reattachment. Deep cleaning is used to treat gingivitis and minor to moderate periodontitis.
In advanced-stage gum disease, you will likely need oral surgery such as gum grafts. Once gum disease has been left untreated for long enough, it leads to worsening bone loss and soft tissue destruction, causing your gums to recede and your teeth to become loose.
A gum graft can restore the health of your gums by taking a graft of soft tissue from elsewhere in the mouth and using it to replace the receded gums.
Your oral health plays a large role in your overall health because they are directly connected. When bacteria and infection are present in the mouth, this leaves a doorway for bacteria to enter the rest of your body.
When tooth and gum infections are left untreated, they can enter your bloodstream and cause serious health problems. By taking care of your gums, you reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
Gum disease can cause tooth loss and is also associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, pregnancy complications, dementia, and rheumatoid arthritis. By properly brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day, you can reduce your risk of developing these serious health problems.
A good candidate for periodontal treatment would be someone who has gingivitis or periodontitis which can be identified by measuring the depths of your gum pockets with a probe. If your gum pockets are deeper than 3 mm, this indicates gum disease and you will need to get treatment to remove the plaque and tartar buildup.
In the early stages, a traditional cleaning and practicing good oral hygiene at home may be enough to reverse it. However, once gum disease develops into periodontitis, you will require a deep cleaning that scales below the gum line and smooths out the tooth’s roots so we can reattach the gums.
If you have advanced periodontitis, you may even require surgical intervention such as gum flap surgery, guided tissue regeneration, and gum and bone grafts. If you’re wondering if periodontal treatment is right for you, contact us at Smileplicity Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Daiana Atari.
The early warning signs of gum disease can be easy to overlook, which is why many people don’t realize that they have gum disease until it advances into periodontitis, at which point permanent damage is caused to your soft tissues and underlying bone.
When gingivitis first develops, you will notice red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. Your gums will start to recede and you might also have bad breath. If this is left untreated, your gums will continue to recede until your teeth feel loose or even fall out.
You will lose jawbone density and your gum pockets will get deeper, trapping more plaque and tartar. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should go to the dentist right away. Gum disease is only reversible in the early stages.
No, it is not physically possible to regrow gums. Once they have receded, they’re gone. However, that doesn’t mean this can’t be treated. There are multiple solutions to gum recession as a result of gum disease, including root planing, gum grafts, guided tissue regeneration, and gum flap surgery.
Root planing and gum flap surgery involve cleaning below the gum line and smoothing out the tooth’s roots so we can reattach the gums. Guided tissue regeneration is the application of a tissue-stimulating protein that can regenerate missing gums and bone.
Finally, gum grafts are the surgical transfer of soft tissues (usually other areas of the gums or the roof of your mouth) to replace the area where your gums are receding. You can also prevent your gums from receding by practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental cleanings. This prevents plaque buildup so that plaque never hardens into tartar, which is what causes inflammation and recession of the gums.
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