Healthy Dentistry Treatments
Did you know that your gums are an indicator of your dental health? In fact, it can also be said that your gums are an indicator of your general health. This tissue is what forms the barrier between your mouth and your body and if your gums are sore and bleed very easily, it could be an indication that you have gum disease.
Gum therapy is the process used to treat gum disease (periodontal disease) at your Standish area dentist.
Gum therapy is the process used to treat gum disease (periodontal disease).
Bleeding, sore gums and bad breath are all possible signs of gum disease. In its later stages, periodontal disease can also cause significant loss of the bone that holds your teeth in place, ultimately leading to loss of your teeth.
In fact, periodontal disease untreated by gum therapy is the leading cause of tooth loss.
To measure the health or your gums, a thin device called a periodontal probe is slid gently between your gum and your tooth and each tooth is measured in six areas in relation to the gum line. If the area measures deeper than 3 millimeters, it is defined as a pocket which indicates the presence of periodontal disease; and gum therapy will usually be recommended.
Gum therapy is based on the stage the disease is in; the first stage being Gingivitis. This can be treated with relative ease using non surgical treatment and improved home care. Often times, lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation are recommended to insure a good result.
More advanced cases of gum disease require a more extensive course of therapy.
The deep cleaning process is called scaling and root planning or root debridement therapy. This is also a non-surgical form of treatment that is effective for moderate periodontal disease. It removes the plaque and tarter from the root surfaces of the teeth including inside the pocket. A laser may also be used to kill bacteria and to promote growth of healthy new tissue. It’s a relatively painless process and local anesthetic is optional (your choice) to numb the treatment area. After this type of treatment, meticulous home care is needed to provide the best chance of healing and maintaining the improved level of health.
During the course of gum therapy, antibiotics may be prescribed, as well as a mouth rinse to aide in killing the bacteria.
In most cases, if you have been treated for gum disease by your Standish dentist, we will recommend follow up 4 times a year instead of the traditional 2 times. This interval is based on science which tells us the bacterial life cycle needs to be disrupted about every 90 days to keep the disease process in check. The shorter interval also helps keep you informed of your progress more frequently so you can make necessary adjustments in your home care habits.
If treatment doesn’t provide the expected improvements, you may be referred to a specialist for further treatment.
To learn more about gum therapy treatments or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (207) 839-2655.