Would it surprise you to find out that gum disease is actually the most common disease in the United States? Nearly half of the entire U.S. adult population has a form of it and are not even aware. It starts very subtly with just a little bit of swelling and redness, but it can eventually develop into painful, bacteria-filled pockets along the gum line.Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults 35 and over. Dr. Steve Aspros, Dr. Ransey Boyd, and Dr. Kirstin Walther take gum disease very seriously, which is why they will always examine them at your routine checkups. If you have developed it, they have a variety of treatment methods to help you manage your gum disease.
Most people know that if you don’t brush your teeth, plaque and bacteria build up on them, and this can eventually lead to a cavity. The same principle is true with your gums. Built up plaque, tartar, and bacteria can irritate sensitive gum tissue and lead to an infection. This can cause the tissue to recede and break down, which takes away its ability to support your teeth and protect the thinner enamel around the roots. This is why tooth loss is so common for people suffering from advanced gum disease.
In its early stages, more diligent oral hygiene at home and dental cleanings can usually manage the problem. However, once the infection has become too advanced, more sophisticated treatments may be needed.
This pair of procedures serves to thoroughly clean your gums and clear out all the accumulated plaque and bacteria. Your doctor will first gently numb the area. They’ll then use manual tools to gently scrape away everything that is underneath your gums. This part is called scaling. Afterward, root planing involves smoothing the roots of your teeth so that the gum tissue can more easily reattach to them. This also makes it much harder for plaque and bacteria to gather there in the future. Most of the time, the procedures can be performed during one appointment and you’ll be asked to have a follow-up visit to check your progress.
After your treatment, your doctor may apply antibiotics to the area to prevent an infection from developing. For this, they will use something called Arestin. It is made of thousands of tiny microspheres that can be applied directly to your gums. These spheres will slowly dissolve so the medicine is released gradually.
If you have red, swollen, or sore gums that bleed regularly whenever you brush and floss, you may have gum disease. Come see us as soon as you can because the earlier we treat it, the easier it will be. Contact our office today if you have any questions about the symptoms, causes and treatments of gum disease. We’re always happy to give you the answers you need.