Periodontal Therapy for Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease affects millions of US adults each year, and for patients over the age of 35, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. In fact, some studies indicate that as much as 80% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Unfortunately, many patients remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because the warning signs are often overlooked by the untrained eye. For this reason, it’s very important that patients receive regular screenings for gum disease during their six month dental checkups. At Fox Creek Family Dental, we partner with patients to prevent oral health concerns like gum disease, and when we can’t prevent these issues, we offer diagnosis in the earliest stages to ensure we can fully renew your oral health. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental appointment or you notice any of the common warning signs of gum disease like red, bleeding or irritated soft tissue, contact our Loveland dental team to schedule an appointment.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar at or below the gum line. This buildup irritates soft tissue causing sores. These areas of sores and inflammation will create larger pockets between teeth and gums as the connective soft tissue is broken down. Overtime, this can lead to serious oral health concerns like gum tissue recession, dental drift, and further tooth loss.
In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis, we can treat the oral health issue with more frequent professional cleanings and improved at-home hygiene. If the disease progresses to the severe periodontitis stage, more advanced treatments will be necessary. We typically start with scaling and root planing. Scaling is a deep cleaning that allows us to remove plaque, tartar, and damaged tissue. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent further plaque and tartar buildup. We may also recommend oral or topical antibiotics to reduce the numbers of plaque causing bacteria in the mouth. Following these more advanced treatments, you will likely need to visit our office more frequently for professional cleanings to ensure you maintain your healthy smile.
Preventing Gum Disease
Our first goal is always to help patients prevent serious oral health concerns like gum disease. The easiest way to keep your smile healthy is to maintain thorough daily hygiene. Brush your teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day, floss daily, and visit our office every six months. You can also use an antimicrobial oral rinse, especially between meals, to cut back on the amounts of plaque-producing bacteria in the mouth. If you are exhibiting the early warning signs of gum disease, we may want to prescribe toothpaste and/or mouth rinse that will target periodontal disease causing bacteria.