Periodontal (Gum) Treatments
Gum disease affects more than half of all American adults, and that number increases with age.
For the most part, periodontal disease develops due to poor home care or lack of professional dental cleanings. Other factors also play a role in developing periodontal disease:
- Medical conditions and diseases
- Medication and drug use
- Loss of dexterity needed to clean teeth
- Dry mouth
- Smoking or tobacco use
Identifying Gum Disease
When gum disease first develops, it may present few symptoms. Bleeding or redness are often the first signs that your gums have an infection. It is possible to reverse early gum disease (gingivitis) and restore healthy tissue.
As gum disease progresses into periodontitis, professional attention can keep the infection under control, but patients will always have the risk of a reoccurrence.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Any of the following signs may point to gum disease:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Swelling and redness
- Pain when brushing and flossing
- Pus at the gumline
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Pocketing between teeth and gums
- Mobile teeth
Advanced periodontal disease can infect the bone that supports teeth. As bone deteriorates, teeth become mobile and can fall out.
Periodontal disease is about more than just your teeth and gums, however. It can significantly impact your overall health. Research has linked gum disease to every system in the body, including the heart, kidney, and brain. In pregnant women, periodontal disease can lead to premature births and small birth weight babies.
Laser Dentistry in Norfolk, MA
We customize all of the treatment we provide in our dental office.
At each checkup, we perform a full periodontal evaluation for our patients by measuring the pocket depths between teeth and gums. Healthy gums are tight against the teeth. Numbers like one, two, or three mean healthy gums with minimal pocketing – anything that is a four or above indicates periodontal disease.
Treatment typically requires a series of dental cleanings designed to remove tartar and bacteria from the gumline and teeth. Our hygienists are gentle yet thorough and also have a wealth of valuable information about products and techniques to use at home when cleaning your teeth.
In the event that periodontal surgery is necessary, we use laser gum treatments for more conservative and comfortable treatment. With laser periodontal surgery, patients can enjoy faster healing times and less discomfort. Soft-tissue lasers remove diseased tissue and promote healthy gum regeneration without the cutting and stictches involved with traditional dental surgery.
Once the tartar and bacteria are eliminated, your gums will begin to heal. Most patients will need more frequent dental visits to keep the infection under control. This might mean three to four dental appointments per year. We recommend cleanings based on each patient’s needs, and we will be happy to discuss how to best protect your health.
Do You Have Bleeding or Painful Gums?
Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from getting the dentistry you need to stay healthy. We offer sedation dentistry options to help our anxious patients relax while we help you achieve a healthy, comfortable smile.