Gum Disease Demystified: Effective Treatments and Indicators

Gum Disease in Dallas, TX | Laser Dentistry | Gingivitis

Gum disease is a very common issue that we see at Bent Tree Dental. As almost half of American adults 30 years and older have some form of gum disease, it is a prevalent issue that deserves a thorough conversation. At our practice, many patients feel hesitant or embarrassed when it comes to addressing their oral health concerns, sometimes choosing to avoid the conversation entirely. We believe that an important part of our patient’s health is ensuring they feel comfortable talking to us about their dental issues. We will always be the first to tell you that gum disease is common and preventable, and we can help treat it if it does occur.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum Disease in Dallas, TX | Laser Dentistry | Gingivitis

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease or periodontitis, is an infection that affects the gums, damaging the tissues surrounding your teeth. The disease is mainly caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film created from food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not effectively removed, it can turn into tartar. This substance is difficult to remove and further aggravates the problem.

Left untreated, gum disease can damage the bone supporting your teeth, potentially resulting in tooth loss. While prevalent, periodontitis is preventable with proper oral hygiene, such as brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and visiting Bent Tree Dental for routine dental cleanings.

Some of the signs indicating gum disease are:

  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Formation of black triangle-like spaces between teeth

While these are some common signs of gum disease, sometimes the symptoms can go unnoticed. At your regular checkups, we will assess your teeth and gums to determine if further steps are needed to prevent or address gum disease.

Gum Disease Explained: What Is It and Where Does It Come From?

Gum disease usually starts with the buildup of plaque, which forms due to starches and sugars mixing with the bacteria in your mouth. Plaque accumulates on your teeth throughout the day and can be removed by regular brushing and flossing. If not removed, it can harden into tartar that reaches underneath the gum line. At this point, professional cleaning is needed to remove the tartar thoroughly.

The presence of bacteria in plaque and tartar can lead to increased damage the longer they linger on your teeth.

For example, plaque buildup can cause gingivitis, which can cause gum irritation and inflammation. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. The good news is that early treatment and proper oral care can reverse gingivitis before it progresses. However, left unchecked, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease that creates deep pockets between gums and teeth. These “periodontal pockets” accumulate bacteria, eventually causing tooth loss or strain on your immune system that impacts your overall health. The bacteria can enter the bloodstream via gum tissue, potentially impacting various body systems. It’s associated with respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.

How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

Suppose we diagnose gum disease or advanced periodontitis. In that case, our approach involves deep cleanings below the gum line, laser therapy, or targeted saliva tests to identify the specific strain causing the issue. Our comprehensive treatments are designed to tackle the infection thoroughly, preventing its return and safeguarding your long-term oral health.

Scaling and Root Planing

When you come in for your treatment at Bent Tree Dental, we typically begin scaling and root planing to address issues before they escalate. The procedure is relatively straightforward and first involves removing plaque and tartar buildup using specialized tools, ensuring a clean and healthy gum line. After this, we focus on smoothing the roots of your teeth. This encourages the gums to reattach, closing periodontal pockets.

The scaling and root planing procedure particularly benefits individuals in the early stages of gum disease. It both treats the current stage of gum disease and prevents the infection from advancing. By thoroughly removing plaque and tartar buildup, the procedure helps prevent future oral health complications.

L-PRF and Laser Therapy

L-PRF and laser therapy are innovative solutions for gum disease. Laser dentistry involves using a soft tissue dental laser to eliminate affected tissue along the gumline, often replacing traditional surgery. This precise method halts the spread of gum disease by removing infected tissue. A deep cleaning then removes plaque, comprehensively addressing the infections. This approach is swift, comfortable, and precise, impacting only affected tissue and allowing faster healing. L-PRF therapy is used for various dental concerns, including periodontal treatments, as it regenerates and repairs lost bone and soft tissues around the teeth.

Gum Recession Treatment

If gum disease causes the gums to recede, the first line of action would be to treat the area of the infection. After this, Dr. Miller can perform tissue regeneration for patients who have suffered bone or tissue loss due to periodontal disease. This is done with regeneration material, a soft tissue graft, or PST™. The PST procedure is less invasive than other gum recession treatments. It involves making a small hole in the gums and reshaping the tissue. This technique facilitates a quick recovery. At your consultation, we’ll determine the best treatment for your needs.

Visit Us Today For Your Dental Check Up

While gum disease can often be prevented with proper oral hygiene, it is a common oral health problem. Stemming from genetics, chronic diseases, and other variables, it can develop anytime. At Bent Tree Dental, we employ various techniques to treat various stages of periodontal disease, helping to restore your oral health.

We invite you to visit us to share any concerns you have about your oral health. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will assess your needs and provide personalized solutions for optimal dental care.

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