Periodontitis affects millions of Americans each year. Swollen gums, also known as gingivitis, precedes 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 provide periodontal treatment 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. You will begin to notice a change in your oral health.
Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more severe condition we call periodontitis. This can eventually cause bone loss and 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 we can fix periodontal disease issues.
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 many treatment options that Dr. Reece may carry out. He may also refer you to a specialist for more extensive procedures.
- Scaling and Root Planing: These intensive professional cleaning treatments often go together. Unlike regular teeth cleaning, deep cleaning goes under the gum line. Scaling also removes plaque and 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: During this process, we lift the gums in order to remove tartar from beneath them. Patients with deep gum pockets can benefit from this surgery.
The Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease has two distinct stages, each with characteristic symptoms. Prompt treatment for early-stage gum disease can help you avoid complex problems and even permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
- Gingivitis: The first signs of gingivitis can include red or swollen gums, gums that bleed when brushing, or increased sensitivity of the gums. These symptoms indicate a developing infection in the gums that your dentist can resolve when treated early.
- Periodontitis: Left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. This is a deeper infection of the gums. Periodontitis creates pockets around the teeth and begins to compromise gum health and the integrity of the teeth. Symptoms can include changes in the fit of the bite, loose teeth or noticeable changes in the appearance of the gums.
Common Causes of Gum Disease
The following conditions may predispose patients to gum disease and worsen their symptoms:
- Tobacco Use
- Improper oral hygiene
- Certain medications
Brushing and flossing twice a day is the main preventative measure against gum disease. Also, schedule regular dental cleanings and visits to the dental office to ensure that you are getting the oral care you need to maintain healthy gums.
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 will provide prompt treatment before your gingivitis or periodontitis issues get worse.
My Periodontal disease has progressed. What kind of treatment will help me?
We may recommend periodontal pocket reduction if your gum tissue is still not snugly fitting around your teeth, and you are having difficulty keeping deep pockets clean. This is when your dentist or periodontist will fold back your gums, removing bacterial infection and smoothing damaged bone. In turn, this allows your gum tissue to reattach to healthier bone.
Schedule a Periodontal Exam with our Dentist in Charlotte, NC
Do you think you have gingivitis or periodontitis? Are you experiencing bleeding gums that just won’t go away? Call 704-486-8911 or schedule an appointment online for a gum disease treatment consult with Dr. Greg Reece today.