Treat and Protect Your Gums
If your gums often bleed or appear swollen, it may be time to take action. Periodontal (gum) disease may be common, but it can result in serious complications if left untreated. It’s essential to seek periodontal treatment as soon as your symptoms are recognized to avoid these issues and put a stop to the progression.
At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, Dr. Andrew Howard and our skilled dental team are dedicated to supporting the health of your gums. Read on to learn the warning signs of periodontal disease and your available treatment options.
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria enter your gums and lead to an infection. The first stage, gingivitis, can cause damage to the soft tissue of your gums and put your oral health at serious risk.
If the disease progresses into the later stages of periodontitis, complications like tooth loss and jawbone deterioration become more likely. This stage can be irreversible, which is why seeking care as soon as possible is essential to preserving your gum health.
Who Is at Risk for Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease affects millions of Americans each year. There are several risk factors, the most common being poor oral hygiene. Other risk factors for gum disease include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Smoking habits
- Severe stress
- Medications that reduce saliva production
- Inadequate nutrition
Signs of Gum Disease
It’s important to seek treatment at the first signs of gum disease to prevent further progression. At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, Dr. Howard can detect the early signs of gum disease and recommend solutions to stop it in its tracks.
Patients with gum disease may experience the following symptoms:
- Shifting or loosened teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Spitting blood when you brush or floss
- Persistent bad breath
If you suspect you may have gum disease, don’t wait to schedule an appointment at our Loveland office. Reach out to Dr. Howard at (970) 669-3918, he’ll assess your situation and work to stop the infection.
Treating Gum Disease
The first line of defense against gum disease is a unique teeth cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, an ultrasonic cleaning device is used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can’t reach.
Then, the rough surface of the tooth and root are smoothed (planed). This provides a healthy, clean surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth. Bacteria will also have a harder time accumulating on the planed surface of a tooth without rough spots to cling to. Dr. Howard will administer a local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel a thing while he works.
Saliva testing allows us to more effectively treat gum disease by identifying the specific bacteria and other organisms causing your infection. This is accomplished by taking simple swabs of your saliva from different areas of your mouth.
The results of these tests help us pinpoint the exact cause of the disease and how to best treat it. We can then create customized antibacterial rinses and gels to achieve the best results for your situation.
Dr. Howard utilizes two different types of lasers to target the specific bacteria that cause gum disease. This procedure is performed using a local anesthetic and typically doesn’t require any incisions or stitches.
Laser treatments are less invasive than other surgical options and involve a shorter recovery period. Your specific condition will dictate which type of treatment will give the best long-lasting result.
Surgical Treatment Options
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures are available to reverse severe damage and restore your healthy smile.
Dr. Howard will recommend the procedure that’s best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Common types of periodontal surgery include:
- Pocket Depth Reduction: This procedure involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria underneath. We’ll also remove any deposits of hardened plaque and tartar.
- Regeneration: During this process, we’ll fold back the gum tissue and remove any bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Depending on your situation, we’ll then perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth or apply a special protein that stimulates tissue growth.
- Soft-Tissue Graft: During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is sutured to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Leaving gum disease untreated may result in serious complications like tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, or heart disease. When periodontitis develops, it’s typically irreversible and may leave you with a host of health problems.
At the first sign of gum disease, it’s best to schedule an appointment at our Loveland office by calling (970) 669-3918. Dr. Howard will determine which periodontal treatment will be most effective for your situation.
Mouthwash alone isn’t enough to combat gum disease. Pairing mouthwash with a regular oral hygiene routine is the best way to preserve the health of your gums. This includes brushing and flossing twice a day along with rinsing between meals.
It’s also essential to visit our Loveland office twice a year for cleanings and exams. We always check for signs of gum disease during these visits and will offer treatment at the first sign of a problem.
In the early stages of gum disease, gingivitis can develop in under two weeks. At this point, you may notice your gums bleeding or swelling. Seeking treatment before or during this stage can help prevent the development of periodontitis, which could result in irreversible damage to your oral and overall health.
Don’t Risk Further Complications
Gum disease can result in serious health issues if left untreated. At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, we offer treatments that can help address your unique situation. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Howard, contact our Loveland office at (970) 669-3918. You can also fill out an online form and a team member will get back to you shortly.