Dr. Brent Engelberg can provide comprehensive periodontal therapy for treating the various symptoms of gum disease and restoring your dental health.
Maintaining the health of your gums is the key to enjoying a lifetime of optimal dental health. Gum disease affects approximately 75% of adults at some point in their lives and remains the leading cause of tooth loss today.
Routine dental care allows our staff to spot the early signs of gum disease during a periodontal screening. Spotting the signs early on can significantly reduce the risk of permanent damage due to advanced periodontal disease.
WHAT ARE SOME TYPICAL SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE?
Understanding and recognizing the signs of gum disease can prevent progression and possible damage to teeth and gums. Common signs and symptoms can include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifted teeth
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Sores in the mouth
STAGES OF GUM DISEASE
Gum disease has four stages and can often progress unnoticed in patients who do not receive regular dental care or are prone to periodontal disease. Early intervention can avoid deteriorating dental health and the need for extensive treatment to address damage to teeth and gums.
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one reversible. Plaque builds up on the teeth, irritating and inflaming the gum tissue. Many of their early symptoms are painless, so it can be hard to notice them early. Most likely, you’ll notice your gums bleeding regularly. When caught early enough, we can use an increase in oral healthcare to treat it. We may give you a special mouthwash or toothpaste to use to help.
Slight Periodontal Disease
At this point, the condition is no longer reversible but can be managed. The infection spreads and attacks the jawbone because the bacteria have become more aggressive. Scaling and root planing manage the condition at this stage. Bacteria and debris are removed from the gum pockets that have formed. Then, we smooth down the tooth roots so the gum tissue can reattach to the bone.
Mild Periodontal Disease
The bacteria become even more aggressive at this stage and enter the bloodstream and the bone. Once the bacteria are in the blood, they can carry infection and inflammation to other body parts. Like with slight periodontal disease, scaling, and root planing are used to manage the infection at this stage.
Severe Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the infection has completely evolved into disease-causing bacteria. Your gums are red and oozing pus, you have severe bad breath, and it’s hard and painful to chew food. Left alone, your teeth become loose and can completely fall out because their support is damaged. At this stage, gum surgery or laser periodontal therapy are the only options to manage the condition.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Dr. Engelberg will assess your oral health and recommend the appropriate periodontal therapy for your unique needs. Treatment will depend on the stage of gum disease and any contributing medical or lifestyle factors. Treatment options can include:
- Anti-bacterial rinses: For early-stage gum disease, an antibacterial rinse can reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Scaling and root planing: A thorough cleaning technique performed in our office that removes plaque from the tooth roots and deep recesses of the gums.
- Laser dentistry: Gentle dental lasers can remove damaged and diseased tissue, enabling the gums to heal.
- Referral to a specialist: For advanced cases of gum disease requiring more extensive treatment, Dr. Engelberg will refer patients to a local specialist.
Gum Disease Treatment FAQs
Gum disease is a serious condition that requires treatment. Learn more by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.
What are early signs that may signify gum disease?
Receding and extremely red gums, sensitivity to brushing and flossing, loose teeth, and bad breath are all early symptoms of gum disease. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, see your dentist and ask if they are concerned about your gum health. If it is caught early, it is very treatable.
What can cause periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be caused by a variety of poor practices in oral hygiene, specifically regarding plaque buildup. When plaque forms around, near, or below the gums and is not cleaned properly, it can harden, causing gum irritation. Smoking tobacco, long-term severe obesity, recreational drug use, and poor oral habits can also contribute to periodontal disease.
What does having periodontal disease mean?
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum that cause damage to the soft tissue and are more serious than gingivitis. If left untreated, this can cause tooth loss later down the line. Gingivitis is the first type of periodontal disease to occur and the mildest. Periodontal disease is broken up into four stages: gingivitis, slight periodontal disease, moderate periodontal disease, and advanced periodontal disease. As you progress through each stage, the chance of needing surgery increases.
How long does it take to heal after periodontal therapy?
It depends on how advanced your gum disease case is and the treatment path we have to follow. On average, it lasts a few weeks to a month. Scaling and root planing aren’t as invasive, and it typically doesn’t take patients as long to heal after it. If surgery is required, you’ll need more time to heal.
Will I always need periodontal maintenance?
If you only had gingivitis, this can usually be reversed. You can get to a point where you can go back to regular dental cleanings as long as you’re diligent with your oral healthcare routine. Further infection can’t be reversed. Once it progresses into periodontal disease, you’re a lifelong periodontal patient. It’s a chronic condition that requires routine special care over time.
Do I need periodontal therapy?
You must get care immediately if you exhibit symptoms of periodontal disease. The earlier we catch the condition, the easier it is for treatment. Common symptoms include red and swollen gums, bleeding gums, tenderness, and pain in your gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact our office to schedule an appointment.