Gum disease is the top reason for tooth loss in adults. This disease will lead to serious dental and health problems if left untreated.
Periodontal Treatment for Gum Disease is an important practice area at our office in Rock Hill.
At Cranford Dental our goal is for patients to keep healthy teeth for a lifetime. Understandably, we never want our patients to deal with the stress of losing teeth.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease is an infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. This weakens the foundation of your teeth, often without any pain or discomfort. As a result unsuspecting adults are at risk of losing even strong healthy teeth.
Thus we have an office protocol to educate patients and to check for signs of gum disease twice yearly.
Contact Cranford Dental or call 803-324-7670 if you need Gum Disease diagnosis or treatment. We will help restore healthy gums.
In this post we explain the causes of Gum Disease and what you can do to keep your gums healthy:
Periodontal Disease and Inflammation
Infection and inflammation will damage the tissue and bone that support your teeth.
Gum Disease begins as Gingivitis, which is when the gum tissue is swollen, red, and bleeding. Inflammation is the body’s response to infection. Gingivitis can be reversed.
If untreated, Gingivitis will eventually turn into Periodontitis. This cannot be reversed due to damage of the bone surrounding the teeth.
Understandably, we like to detect Gingivitis early to halt the damage to the gums. Please contact us after reading this post if you suspect you have gum problems.
Warning Signs of Gingivitis or Gum Disease
Healthy gums will appear pink and will fit snugly around the teeth.
A rule to follow: HEALTHY GUMS DON’T BLEED!
Contact your dentist if you have any of these warning signs:
- Gums bleed when brushing and flossing
- Chronic halitosis or bad breath
- Teeth looseness or mobility issues
- Change in bite or in way denture or mouth guard fits
- Pus or oozing between teeth and gums
Note that you may experience some or even none of these and still have Gingivitis. In addition, these issues can be signs of other dental problems.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is a type of nondestructive gum disease. What causes Gingivitis? Plaque!!!
Plaque is the sticky or “fuzzy” substance that is always on the teeth.
It is essentially bacteria that infects your mouth. This makes gums get red and puffy as the body’s natural reaction in fighting off the infection.
When this plaque is not cleaned off, the plaque hardens and becomes tartar or calculus.
Tartar is the hard substance that can ONLY be cleaned off by a hygienist with special instruments. Your goal is to remove plaque before it turns into tartar.
We recommend brushing twice daily for two minutes each time, flossing, and professional cleanings every 6 months to avoid plaque buildup and tartar.
Gingivitis to Periodontal Disease or Periodontitis
When the gums become inflamed and red, they begin to pull away from the teeth. This creates spaces (or pockets) between the teeth and gums.
These pockets allow room for bacteria such as plaque and tartar to grow beneath the surface of the gum and around the teeth roots.
Then the gum tissue and bone that surround and support the teeth will break down.
Periodontitis to Severe Mouth Problems
Without gum treatment, teeth will loosen and eventually separate from the gums. When severe, bone loss will cause mobility issues with your teeth.
The teeth will continue to move in the mouth and can eventually fall out.
The permanent bacteria that is trapped in the mouth will cause Halitosis, or bad breath.
How Cranford Dental Diagnoses Gum Disease
At each dental visit your hygienist will check the health of your gums using a periodontal probe.
Healthy gums will measure less than 3 mm; gums with Gingivitis, 4-5 mm; gums with Gum Disease, 5mm and higher.
In addition, the dentist and hygienist will use radiographs to evaluate bone lass and tartar buildup below the gum line.
Our post will help you when a dentist prescribes Scaling and Root Planing for gum problems: Do I Really Need Scaling and Root Planing?
Call our office if you still have questions after reading the post. You should totally understand your Gum Disease diagnosis before you begin treatment.
How Cranford Dental Treats Gum Disease
If we detect gum problems early enough, our hygienist will do a regular cleaning and review oral hygiene practices you should be using at home.
When we diagnose Periodontal Disease, we recommend a special cleaning called Scaling and Root Planing.
Scaling and Root Planing
The hygienist will scale under the gums to clean out the bacteria and hard tartar that is under the gums around the root surface.
This procedure requires expertise and attention to detail. It usually takes more than one appointment.
After scaling, the hygienist will use a special instrument to make sure the surface is smooth. Then she will take radiographs to check to make sure the tartar is gone.
If your pockets are extremely deep (9 mm or higher), we may not be able to thoroughly clean them with a scaling instrument. We may refer you to a Periodontist for gum surgery.
The Periodontist will perform a “Gum Flap” surgery. He will cut back the gum tissue so that the root is exposed. Then he will remove the bacteria that is deep under the gums. After surgery He will stitch the gums back into place to tightly hug your teeth.
If the bacteria has damaged the bone supporting your teeth, you may need surgery to contour and repair the gone.
After treating you for Gum Disease your hygienist will give detailed instructions about caring for your teeth and gums. She may suggest special toothbrushes, paste, and rinses.
You will more than likely need more frequent dental check-ups and cleanings to keep the disease under control and maintain your oral health.
Call us at 803-324-7670 or contact Cranford Dental online if you would like for us to evaluate your teeth and gums. Gum Treatment is an area of expertise at our Rock Hill office.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
You should read the above information and seek advice if you have any of these risk factors:
- Tobacco use of any kind
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Teenager, pregnant, or on birth control (due to hormone changes)
- Genetics – parents or grandparents with gum disease
- Diabetes, HIV, Heart Disease
- Directly related to Gum Disease
- Immune system not able to fight off infection
- Bacteria between partners – kissing partners or children
- Unhealthy oral habits
- Brush (twice a day) and Floss (at least once a day)
- Regular dental visits
Tips to Prevent Periodontal Disease
- If you smoke or use tobacco, seek help to quit as soon as possible. Work with your physician to manage Diabetes, HIV, or Heart Disease.
- Brush twice daily and floss at least once daily. Keep up with regular dental cleanings.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Drink lots of water, limiting sugary drinks and snacks.
Gum Disease Education
We are very serious about Periodontal Disease at Cranford Dental.
Our hygienists and office staff took part in an intense study of Gum Disease Treatment. We wanted to make sure we were on the right page in diagnosing and treating it for our patients.
Read the articles our hygienist wrote for more detailed information on Gum Disease and Treatment:
- What is Gum Disease?
- What are Warning Signs of Gum Disease?
- How Does my Dentist Diagnose Gum Disease?
- How to Treat Gum Disease?
- Our Study of Gum Disease
At our office, tools, equipment, and methodology are up to date and standardized. In addition, our dentists and hygienists read current studies about the best way to deal with gum disease.
Visit Cranford Dental if you would like to meet our hygienists and dentists and consult with them about your teeth and gums; also contact us to request a complimentary second opinion on Scaling and Root Planing.
We are at 1721 Ebenezer Road in Rock Hill, SC. Call us at 803-324-7670 or contact Cranford Dental online.
We take pride in our experienced staff members and their knowledge of gum treatment. Our dentists and hygienists have helped many patients restore gum health over our years of practice in Rock Hill.
We would love to welcome you to Cranford Dental.