Bright, white teeth get all the glory, but healthy gums are an important part of your smile too! At Edgewood Dental Care in Edgewood, KY, Dr. McMahon and our team have several services that can help keep your gums healthy, improve their appearance, and treat them for gum disease.
What are gums?
Your gums hold your teeth in place and protect them. Over your lifetime, you will notice changes in your gums. These changes could be caused by disease, neglect, aggressive brushing, or aging. There are several steps you can take to maintain the health of your gums.
When you’re brushing your teeth twice a day, make sure you go over your gums with your toothbrush. Do this gently to brush away bacteria at the gum line and any residue from meals that might be clinging to your gums.
Flossing not only prevents you from developing cavities between your teeth, but it also removes food stuck there. Food left between your teeth can irritate your gums and feed the bacteria that causes gum disease. Rinsing with a mouthwash can also help maintain the health of your gums.
When you visit us for your six month dental cleanings and dental exams, we can get at any plaque or tartar you missed and alert you to any oral health issues revealed during your exam.
Breaking bad habits like tobacco use and consuming too much junk food will also improve the health of your gums.
How do I know if I’m taking good care of my gums?
If your gums aren’t happy, usually you’ll know. You could experience:
- Loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath
How does Edgewood Dental Care treat gum disease?
If you have early stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, we can coach you on how to properly care for your gums and prevent the disease from progressing further.
It’s not possible for you to treat your gums for late stage gum disease at home. Late stage gum disease is known as periodontitis. We have the technology to treat it three different ways at Edgewood Dental Care:
- LANAP is advanced laser therapy that allows us to rid your gums of disease without damaging your healthy gum tissue. By choosing a certified LANAP provider to treat your gum disease, you are decreasing your pain, bleeding, and recovery time.
- Our diode soft tissue laser allows us to enter the pockets of infection beneath your gums to clear out bacteria, plaque, and tartar. This treatment is so gentle, you might find you experience no discomfort at all.
- A tried and true method of treating gum disease is scaling and root planing, or what we sometimes refer to as a “deep cleaning.” We’ll remove the plaque beneath your gumline then travel further down to the tooth to smooth the root and make it harder for bacteria to return. We’ll follow this treatment with Arestin, an antibiotic. Since antibiotics also keep off the good bacteria in your mouth, we will pair the Arestin with a probiotic that will encourage their return.
What if I hate the look of my gums?
Gummy smile? We can also use our LANAP laser treatment to reshape your gums to give you that uniform, healthy gum line you desire.
But what if you have too little gums? Gum recession can happen for a variety of reasons. So, don’t let self-blame stop you from seeking out treatment. When your gums recede, they open up the roots of your teeth to infection and decay and could possibly even lead to tooth loss. Along the way, you’ll have to deal with discomfort and sensitivity.
Edgewood Dental Care is among a limited number of dental offices that can offer the new Pinhole® Technique for gum recession. With a skillful hand and special tools, we are able to return your gums to a healthy position. You’ll be back to everyday activities 24 hours later. The older method of gum grafting requires significantly more downtime and inconvenience.
If any of your treatments or procedures require local anesthesia, The Wand makes this a nearly painless experience. We can also use sedation to quell your dental anxiety. Choose anything else you might need to get cozy from our comfort menu.