Periodontitis affects millions of Americans each year. Swollen gums, also known as gingivitis, precede gum disease, so it is important to catch it in the early stages. Dr. Greg Reece and the staff at Dentistry of the Queen City offer periodontal therapy in our Charlotte, NC dental office.
You may not have thought of it this way, but gum disease is actually a very sneaky disease. This condition begins slowly when bacterial plaque builds up on the teeth. The first indications of this infection are usually gums that are red, swollen and bleeding. However, the condition is easily reversible at this stage when it is still known as gingivitis.
Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more severe condition called periodontitis. This can eventually cause the loss of your teeth. Fortunately, before letting it get to that point, you have a number of treatment options available to you. Let’s take a look at some common causes, and how periodontal disease is treated.
Treating Gum Disease in Charlotte, NC
Dr. Greg Reece will examine your teeth and gums to determine if your gums need a deep cleaning or surgery. There are multiple treatment options that Dr. Reece may carry out or refer you to a specialist for:
- Scaling and Root Planing: These intensive deep cleaning treatments often go together. Unlike regular teeth cleaning, deep cleaning goes under the gum line. Scaling also removes tartar from above and below the gum line. The rough surfaces of tooth roots smoothed out during root planing to help gums reattach to your tooth.
- Gum graft surgery: During this procedure, the surgeon takes tissue from another part of the mouth and covers tooth roots. Gum graft surgery may be necessary to prevent tooth loss.
- Flap surgery: The gums are lifted in order to remove tartar from beneath them. Patients with deep gum pockets can benefit from this surgery.
Common Causes of Gum Disease
Patients with these conditions may be predisposed to gum disease:
- Tobacco Use
- Improper oral hygiene
- Certain medications
Brushing and flossing twice a day is the main preventative measure against gum disease. You should also schedule regular dental cleanings and visits to the dental office to ensure that you are getting the oral care you need.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are multiple signs of periodontitis to look out for:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Mouth sores
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, contact Dentistry of the Queen City for restorative treatment. We want to treat you properly before gingivitis or periodontitis worsens.
My gum disease has progressed. What kind of treatment will help me?
Typically, if your gum tissue is still not snugly fitting around your teeth, and you are having difficulty keeping deep pockets clean, periodontal pocket reduction may be recommended. This is when your dentist or periodontist will fold back your gums, removing bacterial infection and smoothing damaged bone, which allows your gum tissue to reattach to healthier bone.