Why Periodontal Care is Important
Gum disease is a bacterial infection within the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. It is often caused by poor oral health, but even patients who follow a regimented oral hygiene program are at risk for developing this disease if they smoke, have a family history of gum disease, or have an autoimmune disorder. Other risk factors can include:
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Poor diet
- Hormonal changes
- Dental misalignment
- Certain medications
According to the American Dental Association, your oral care plays an important role in your overall health. Research has shown that untreated tooth decay and gum disease can lead to severe medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Treating gum disease in its earliest stages can help protect your long-term oral and physical health.
It is estimated that over 50 percent of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
The symptoms of gum disease will vary depending on the severity level. Because gum disease is often undetectable in its earliest stages, it is important to visit a dentist for routine biannual examinations. Common signs and symptoms can include:
- Red or inflamed gums
- Gum tenderness and tooth sensitivity
- Loose, shifting teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
Available Treatment Methods
At New Jersey Dental Centers, we provide a variety of periodontal care treatments, including both non-surgical and surgical methods. The type of treatment required will depend on the extent of damage. In most cases, our doctors will approach the situation with conservative treatment first. Before doing so, we can administer sedation, such as nitrous oxide or intravenous (IV) sedation in combination with a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout the entire procedure.
- Scaling and Root Planing: For patients with the earliest signs of gum disease, the doctor may recommend scaling and root planing as part of a deeper cleaning. During this treatment, the doctor will use special dental instruments to remove plaque buildup and unhealthy bacteria from below the gum line and in between teeth. By smoothing the root surface of the tooth, this will allow the gums to fit tightly around the base of the tooth to help prevent food and bacteria from getting trapped. If necessary, a topical antibiotic can be applied to treat any infection.
- Gum Reshaping: When soft tissues around the base of a tooth have been irreversibly damaged, our doctors can use laser technology to trim and remove unhealthy gum tissue. This treatment provides a more comfortable alternative to traditional methods involving a scalpel and sutures.
- Bone Grafting: If bone tissue has begun to deteriorate, we can harvest tissue from another area of your body or use synthetically grown tissue to promote healthy bone regeneration in your jawbone.
- Tooth Extractions: For advanced cases of gum disease, when teeth are severely decayed and damaged and can no longer be preserved with a dental filling or dental crown, a tooth extraction may be necessary. We use gentle methods and sedation to ensure you are comfortable. After the extraction, we can place dental implants and fit you with a customized restoration as a superior tooth replacement solution.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one our trusted doctors to undergo the appropriate periodontal care. Treating gum disease early can prevent costly procedures in the future, as well as help you maintain your natural teeth for many years. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.