Many people believe that cavities cause tooth loss, but gum disease, not tooth decay, usually threatens teeth first or more severely. You might be shocked to learn that over half of the adults in the United States have either moderate-to-severe gum disease.
Gum disease comes in two forms. The early-stage form is gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. The more-advanced form is peridontitis, in which the gums have begun pulling away from teeth, causing pockets. Not only does periodontitis mean that your teeth are less secure in the gum line and in your bone tissue, but it also means that bacteria is getting trapped in those pockets, continuing to infect the gums and eat away at the jawbone.
What is the treatment for gum disease?
Gingivitis can be controlled with regular professional cleanings. If you are prone to gingivitis we recommend coming in twice a year instead of merely once to keep the disease from advancing.
Peridontitis will require a true deep cleaning through a process known as scaling and root planing. This is a non-surgical procedure in which we scrape the tartar that’s both above the gumline and below it, then smooth the rough spots on your teeth to give your gums a clean surface to reattach to. Patients with periodontitis will need to come in twice a year to keep the disease under control.
Truly advanced cases may require surgical interventions. Gap reduction surgery helps reduce pocket size. Bone grafts help restore stability to your teeth by strengthening your jawbone. Gum grafts help us restore lost gum tissue. Guided tissue regeneration can help restore both bone and gums.
If you have lost teeth to gum disease we can replace them with dental implants once your gum and bone structure are strong enough.
Can gum disease be cured?
Anything from genetics from certain medications can cause gum disease. Gingivitis can be reversed, but periodontitis can only be managed and treated. The earlier we catch gum disease, the more successful we will be at bringing it back.
Even if your gingivitis has reversed it’s wise to stick to the twice-a-year check-up schedule, because it could come back without ongoing dental care.
Does gum disease treatment hurt?
Not usually. We offer a local anesthetic while conducting scaling and root planing procedures.
A stronger anesthetic is offered for surgical procedures. You may experience some bleeding and soreness during and after treatment, but those effects usually go away within a day or so.
Protect your gums, protect your teeth, protect your health and self-image
If your gums are swollen, puffy, tender, or prone to bleeding then you probably have gum disease. If your teeth are loose or you’re finding chewing painful then your teeth are in real trouble, and you should reach out to our office right away to get help.
This disease will not resolve on its own. The longer you leave it the more it will advance and the less manageable it will become. Keep your gums in order and keep your teeth where they belong.
Contact Sweet Life Dental in Woodland Hills to schedule your visit.request an appointment