Red, swollen gums can be a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you’re not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease.
Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. If we’re able to catch the condition the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings should effectively clear it up. We’ll also give you thorough instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and schedule regular dental cleanings.
Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the second stage of gum disease. When bacteria builds up on your teeth and gums over time, it creates stubborn deposits of infection below the gum line.
Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar (hardened plaque). This causes irritation to the surrounding tissues. If left untreated, these irritants can damage the gums, and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth!
Our methods for periodontal treatment depend upon how severe your case is. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate you for periodontal disease and recommend the right course of action for you, but the most common treatments for advanced gum disease include:
Laser gum surgery, a new alternative to scaling and root planing, uses beams of high-speed light to remove plaque and tartar buildup. It is completely safe and comes with an array of benefits, including being minimally invasive.
If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, our dentists may recommend a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, to remove the infected parts of your gums and restore the gumline.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, we’ll recommend a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planning (deep cleaning). It’s usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb with local anesthetic.
In this procedure, we work to remove tartar, plaque, and toxins from above and below the gum line (scaling). Then, we polish the rough spots of your root surfaces until smooth (planning). This procedure helps gum tissue heal and pockets shrink.
After treatment, we may recommend antibiotic medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric toothbrush to help control infection and healing.
If the gums don’t heal after scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making your teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also refer you to a periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
While gum disease is very common, it can be no less damaging to your oral health. At the Watsonville Dental Wellness Center, we want to restore your gums and your smile! If you’ve been having a problem with gum disease, at any stage, we’re here to help. Contact us today to make an appointment for treatment!