Periodontal Therapy An Overview
At Proud Smiles in Sandy Springs, we believe in the importance of gum health. Healthy gums are the support for healthy teeth.
Preventive dental care plays an important role in maintaining gum health, providing the opportunity on a routine basis for Dr. Paulen and her staff to spot gum disease in the early stages when conservative treatment can be comfortable and cost-effective. Gum health changes can also indicate systemic health changes, such as diabetes, cancer, or auto-immune disorders.
Dr. Paulen educates her patients on the link between oral health and overall health, stressing the proven association between gum disease, heart disease, and stroke. Gum disease can also have an impact on pregnancy health and outcome. Maintaining healthy gums is important for dental health and good quality of life.
Catching gum disease early in development can prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. If you notice any changes in your oral health, contact Dr. Paulen immediately. Read more about the Oral-Systemic Connection.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE
- Red or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifted teeth
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Sores in the mouth
If diagnosed early, we can treat gum disease with a thorough dental cleaning. Left untreated, gum disease has been tied to various oral and systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
Periodontal Therapy What to Expect
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are multiple different stages of gum disease that occur as things progress.
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one that’s reversible. It’s incredibly common, and a large number of adults have it without even knowing. None of the symptoms are painful, so it can be hard to notice. The most prominent symptoms is bleeding gums. If you notice that your gums are bleeding regularly, especially when you’re brushing your teeth, call our office for a checkup.
Gingivitis starts as bacteria irritating and inflaming your gum tissue. It becomes red and swollen, causing the bleeding gums symptom that’s so common. To treat this, a diligent oral healthcare plan is needed. We’ll bring you into the office for deep cleanings more frequently than your normal regular dental care appointment. We may also prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash for extra care.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, we can no longer reverse the condition, but we can manage it. The bacteria grow more aggressive and start attacking the bones instead of just the tissue. We use scaling and root planing to keep things under control. Bacteria and debris collect in gum pockets between your tissue and bone. We clean out these pockets and smooth down the tooth roots so that the gum tissue reattaches to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The bacteria continue to get more aggressive in this stage. They start to attack the bloodstream in addition to bones and soft tissue. Like mild periodontal disease, we use scaling and root planing to manage the condition.
Severe Periodontal Disease
The bacteria have completely evolved in this stage. Your gums ooze pus and blood, it’s painful to bite or chew, and you have severe bad breath that you can’t get rid of. Due to bone loss, your teeth become loose and may even fall out. The only things that can manage it in this stage are laser gum treatment or periodontal surgery.
For early-stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, Dr. Paulen may recommend additional, more detailed dental cleanings and an antibacterial rinse or natural anti-oxidant Perioscience salve. In some cases, a scaling and root planing procedure may be necessary to remove plaque from the deeper pockets of the gum and prevent further damage.
A prescription-strength anesthetic gel now eliminates the need for injection for comfort. The subsequent use of a diode laser, BioLase, can facilitate quick and comfortable healing.
If periodontitis, advanced gum disease, is present, Dr. Paulen may recommend more invasive treatment to restore oral health. When appropriate, we coordinate treatment with a local periodontist.