Gum disease affects 4 in 5 people in the United States.
That’s according to the American Dental Hygienists Association. Keep in mind that hygienists are the people who are most likely to give you a professional dental cleaning when you visit a dentist office.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is not something to be taken lightly. Nevertheless, many people don’t do what they should be doing to prevent it. If you do develop a gum infection, Edgewood Dental Care is ready, willing, and able to help you fight it.
OK, maybe that’s not as exciting to you as it is to us, but we know how laser dentistry makes gum disease treatment easier for you, our patients.
If you suspect that you may have gum disease. Call (859) 474-7830 or contact us online to make an appointment at our dentist office in Edgewood, KY. Find out how lasers can save your gums and your smile.
Recognizing The Signs Of Gum Disease
Let’s start with what healthy gums should look like. Your gums should be pink, and they should feel firm to the touch.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you take action at this point, you may be able to reverse the infection before it gets worse. The symptoms of gingivitis are gums that:
▹ appear swollen
▹ appear red
▹ bleed when you brush or floss
Brushing twice daily, flossing every day, and having routine professional dental cleanings are the best ways to keep your gums healthy.
Brushing removes plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and gums. To put it another way, flossing cleans the spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Gingivitis can lead to a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. At this stage, you will need professional treatment to get rid of the infection. This may go without saying, but your treatment will be simpler if you seek treatment early.
As you might expect, periodontitis can have some serious symptoms, such as:
▸ gums that bleed easily (more often than when you brush or floss)
▸ gums that feel tender or sore
▸ persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
▸ gums that are separating from your teeth (receding)
▸ teeth that feel loose in their sockets
It’s possible for gum disease to get to a pretty advanced stage before you feel any pain. It’s important to watch for the other symptoms so you don’t let gum disease rob you of your smile, too. We’ve mentioned in previous posts that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
How we treat periodontitis can vary depending on how advanced your infection has become.
Treating Gum Disease
The first step in treating gum disease is often a procedure called scaling and root planing.
This is similar to the cleaning that’s done during a regular dental visit. The difference is that we go below the gumline to remove plaque and tartar that may have formed on the roots of your teeth. (This can also lead to a tooth infection requiring a root canal.)
We may recommend antibiotics to follow the procedure to help reduce your risk for reinfection.
For more serious cases, lasers come into play as an alternative to oral surgery. We offer LANAP or the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure.
Before laser dentistry, we would have had to use a scalpel to cut out the infected gum tissue. This often required cutting out healthy tissue as well to be sure the infection was removed.
With the laser, we can “zap” the infected tissue. This effectively makes it evaporate while leaving behind most of the healthy gum tissue. The laser has the added benefit of sealing the tissue so stitches aren’t needed in most cases.
With no cutting, there is less bleeding, and you can heal more quickly than you would from a procedure using a scalpel, too. (Maybe now it makes sense why we are so happy to be able to use lasers to help our patients.)
Get Help Against Gum Disease
Gum disease can seem like a small thing, but if you ignore, it can cause serious long-term oral health problems. Let our team at Edgewood Dental Care help you treat and prevent periodontal disease.
Call (859) 474-7830 or contact us online to request an appointment.