Gum Disease Treatment
The gums are an integral part of your dental structure. They hold teeth firmly in place, ensuring you can bite, chew, or speak without issues. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is critical to gum health. Failure to brush or floss can create a haven for bacterial growth, leading to dental problems. Your gums may become sore or swollen, creating deep pockets within the gum lines and surrounding soft tissue. Our periodontist at Frank Dunlap, DDS can help reverse the effects of gingivitis and gum infections. Visit us for professional gum disease treatment in Houston, TX.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth. It causes the gums to become sore or swollen. The condition develops gradually as a result of poor dental hygiene. A lack of brushing or flossing promotes plaque buildup around the teeth. Over time, plaque transforms into tartar, leading to gingivitis. Without medical intervention, it can deteriorate to periodontitis.
Some individuals are at a higher risk of having gum disease. This might be due to their lifestyles, underlying conditions, or hormonal changes. Family history, certain medications, low immunity, and nutritional deficiencies can also cause gum disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
The signs of gum disease vary depending on the severity of the infection. Bleeding gums are among the first signs of this oral condition. You might bleed around the gum line when brushing or flossing. You may also develop an unpleasant taste or bad breath. Some patients experience pain when chewing or develop sensitive teeth. Others may notice pus between the gum line or have loose teeth because of receding gums.
Consequences of Untreated Gum Disease
Untreated gum disease can cause severe health complications. It can cause the gums to recede, increasing the likelihood of tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. It can also misalign the teeth. In such cases, patients might need corrective oral appliances like braces.
The repercussions of untreated gingivitis can be severe. The disease-causing bacteria might infiltrate the bloodstream, increasing the likelihood of various health concerns. This chronic infection can lead to stroke and heart attack.
Pregnant mothers with untreated gum disease might give birth prematurely. They might also deliver infants with low birth weight.
Professional Gum Disease Treatment
Professional gum disease treatment in Houston, TX, can be surgical or non-surgical. In the early stages, simple brushing and flossing can help stop the infection from progressing. Some patients might only need deep dental cleaning, root planing, and scaling. Others might require a blend of non-surgical and surgical dental procedures. The appropriate intervention depends on the severity of the condition.
Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatments
Non-surgical gum disease treatments include dental cleaning and root planing and scaling. It can also entail using antiseptic mouthwash and taking antibiotics and pain medications.
Dental prophylaxis or cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar deposits from accessible sections of diseased teeth. An oral hygienist typically undertakes this task under the supervision of a dentist. Dental cleanings might be routine cleanings or deep cleanings. Patients might require a single session or multiple visits, depending on the level of infection.
Root planing and scaling are more extensive treatments for gum disease. They involve removing plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas, including under the gum line and the pockets between the gums and teeth.
Proper oral hygiene can also help treat gum disease, particularly during the early stages. You can also use antiseptic mouthwash and antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection.
Surgical Gum Disease Treatments
Oral surgery might be necessary for severe cases of gum disease. Corrective surgery can help reduce the deep gum pockets caused by advanced periodontitis. Surgical therapy also removes bacterial colonies from root surfaces and beneath the gum line. Our dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area before raising the gum and cleaning the root surfaces.
Maintaining Healthy Gums
Maintaining healthy gums is vital to preventing gum disease and other dental problems. Floss between your teeth and gums at least once daily to remove trapped food particles. When brushing the teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste to kill disease-causing bacteria. Ensure you brush your teeth after meals for optimum dental health.
Smoking can be harmful to your teeth, gums, and overall health. Consider quitting to avoid dental problems and health complications. Schedule regular dental cleanings to preserve healthy gums and ensure optimal oral health.
Gum Disease Treatment FAQs
At Frank Dunlap, DDS, we often get numerous questions from patients about gum disease treatment. The following are detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions about gum disease treatment in Houston, TX.
What causes gum disease?
The primary cause of gum disease is improper dental hygiene. Failure to brush or floss as required can promote bacterial growth. When food particles mix with bacteria, the acidic reaction leads to the formation of plaque and tartar. These microorganisms eat away the gums, leading to periodontitis.
Can gum disease be reversed?
Gum disease is only reversible during the first stage of gingivitis. Allowing the infection to progress can cause irreversible damage to the gums and jawbone. However, corrective surgical therapy can help reduce the impact of advanced periodontitis.
Is gum disease contagious?
Gum disease is not contagious. However, the bacteria that causes the infection can be contagious. It will require substantial bacterial transfer for periodontitis to spread from person to person.
How often should I have gum disease treatment?
The number of gum disease treatment sessions depends on the severity of the infection. Patients with gingivitis might only require one dental cleaning session. Advanced periodontitis patients might require several treatment sessions.
Choosing Frank Dunlap, DDS, for Gum Disease Treatment
Appropriate treatments for gum disease include root planing and scaling and medication. Improving dental hygiene can also help reverse the effects of gum disease. At Frank Dunlap, DDS, we have years of experience in gum disease treatment in Houston, TX. Contact us at (346) 576-4411 to schedule a comprehensive oral exam.