Periodontal Gingivitis Gum Disease and Treatment
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, affects the gums and teeth. The word “periodontal” comes from Greek – “perio” means “around” and “dontal” means “tooth.” Gingivitis is the beginning stages of gum disease, and you can still reverse the affects of gingivitis at this stage.
Patients sometimes notice their gums bleed easily when they brush and floss, and gums may also be swollen and tender to the touch. With more advanced gum disease patients may experience gums pulling away from the teeth, chronic bad breath, a change in their bites or loose permanent teeth. In severe cases patients may even suffer tooth loss.
Let’s back up for a moment to discuss how you may get gingivitis or gum disease. Plaque, a sticky, colorless film, builds up on our teeth. Plaque is constantly forming, and it’s our job to remove it by routine flossing and brushing. When we fail to remove plaque in our mouths, it accumulates and starts irritating and inflaming our gums. You may notice gum inflammation around just one tooth or around several. Gum disease is a bacterial infection.
Gingivitis, as we said before, is the milder form of gum disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, there’s still time to eradicate its presence. We can even help treat more advanced gum disease with laser technology. Our periodontal therapists will remove plaque with micro-ultrasonics and warm lasers. This technology is more satisfying and less invasive to our patients than the antiquated techniques of hand scaling alone. Scaling may help remove plaque, but the gum tissue is already infected. Our team use micro-ultrasonics to irrigate the gum pockets and flush bacteria from them. We also use laser dentistry to vaporize infected gum tissue and stimulate the body’s immune response. The body will then begin to heal itself. We use gentle anesthetics to relax our patients, but there’s virtually no discomfort with this laser periodontal disease treatment method.
Our goal is to achieve healthy pink gums that don’t bleed during flossing. Treatment sessions will vary with each patient, depending on the severity of pocketing, inflammation, bleeding and swelling.
We discuss gum health and the importance of flossing with our patients at every visit. Our gums are the foundation for our teeth, and they deserve proper care and attention. If your gums bleed, swell or look bright red when you brush and floss, it’s probably time to come in for a visit. We can assess your gum health and help you achieve healthy gums for a lifetime.