Gum disease starts with bleeding gums and can lead to tooth loss. Our Periodonticsexperts are showing people around the Houston, TX, area what causes gum disease and how to prevent it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease happens when the bacteria in your mouth builds up along and under your gum line. Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease in which bacteria or tartar causes inflammation around the gums. Periodontitis happens when gingivitis is untreated, causing further plaque inflammation around the tooth. Periodontitis can destroy the bones, gums, and tissues that surround a given tooth if left untreated.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Sensitive and/or loose teeth
- Swollen, tender, red, and/or bleeding gums
- Difficulty chewing foods
- Receding gums and teeth that appear longer
- Persistent bad breath
What Are Some Different Treatments for Gum Disease?
Gum disease can be treated in a number of ways, depending on the severity and history of each individual case. The goal of treatment is to control and prevent bacterial growth. Gum disease treatments can run the gamut from non-evasive therapies to surgical approaches. Here are some common treatment plans:
- Professional Dental Cleanings: If you are in the beginning stages of gum disease, your dentist may recommend you come in for dental cleanings more than twice a year.
- Scaling and Root Planing: If you have plaque and tartar under your gums, deep cleaning may be the right treatment for you. This deep cleaning involves a method called “Scaling and Root Planing,” which scrapes off the tartar from the gum line and then removes spots from the roots of teeth that are prone to gathering bacteria. A laser, as well as other manual instruments, can be used for this method. Medication such as antimicrobial mouth rinse, antibiotics, and antiseptics may also be used along with this method to control bacterial infections.
- Bone and Tissue Grafts: If you have persistent inflammation and deep tartar build up, another option in addition to flap surgery may include bone and tissue grafts. Bone and tissue grafts can regenerate bone or gum tissue loss. Bone grafting promotes bone growth, replacing bone loss through natural or synthetic means. Guided tissue regeneration, a form of bone grafting keeps the gum tissues from growing where the bones should be. Soft tissue grafting supports gum tissue loss, replacing tissues through natural or synthetic means so that tooth roots are protected. Finally, bone surgery decreases shallow craters in the bone to protect against further bone loss and prevent continued bacteria.
Assessing and Preparing for Your Gum Disease Treatment
Your dentist can help you first assess your gum disease issues by noting any inflammation surrounding your gums. They may also ask about your medical history and use a “probe” to check and measure any pockets of plaque infection. Your dentist may then refer you to a periodontist for further treatment. Most gum disease treatments are performed in a dentist or periodontist’s office. Local anesthesia can be given during surgical procedures to numb the gum areas.
Gum Disease Treatment Recovery
You should experience minimal discomfort after your gum disease treatment. You may experience some bleeding or swelling of your gums after gum disease surgery. Ice and pressure can be applied to minimize swelling and bleeding. It is also best to eat softer foods, avoiding spicy and hot foods, immediately following the procedure. For any discomfort, the dentist or periodontist may prescribe ibuprofen or other pain relievers, which should regularly be taken. You are encouraged to be gentler than usual when brushing and flossing your teeth after your treatment.
How Much Do Gum Disease Treatments Usually Cost?
We are committed to providing quality, affordable care for you and your family. We offer a variety of payment options and accept most insurance plans. We also accept government assistance programs. Please visit our financing page for to find the best option for your situation.
Why Choose Summit Dental Center™?
Known as a “great dentist for kids,” Summit Dental Center™ has a reputation for providing a family friendly atmosphere and positive dental experience
- We use a gentle touch to help put nervous and fearful patients at ease
- We offer Clear Correct™ as an alternative to Invisalign®
- We provide quality care at affordable rates
- We have 7 convenient locations with flexible evening and weekend hours
What to Expect During Your Consultation
- All new patients receive a $25 initial consultation
- Your initial visit consists of x-rays, examination, and consultation
- Treatment options are discussed before any service is performed
- We make quality dental care easy and affordable
With seven convenient locations throughout the Houston area, we offer both extended and weekend hours to our patients. We are dedicated to providing quality dental service, so please contact us today to schedule your appointment and ask about our free consultations!