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Did you know four out of five people have gum disease and don’t know it? Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. If you notice inflammation, bleeding gums, or feel discomfort, you may need to see a periodontist. Schedule a consultation today to meet with a gum specialist and discuss treatment options for gum disease.

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

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Periodontal disease, or gum disease, starts from plaque build-up on the teeth. The harmful bacteria in plaque irritate the gums, causing gum infections, redness, swelling, and bleeding when brushing, flossing, or chewing. If left untreated, bone loss, receding gums, and tooth loss from the active bacterial infection can happen.

No need for a referral to another dental office. At Great Lakes Family Dental, we are a multi-specialty practice with Periodontists on staff. Our doctors, dental hygienists, and periodontists work together to identify and treat gum disease early to help patients keep and maintain healthy teeth.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone)
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth
  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth

Periodontal Disease Progression

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There are several stages of gum disease, Gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease, to slight, moderate, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis or early gum disease is treatable and, in many cases, reversible with the non-invasive hygiene visit. This procedure is called gingivitis therapy. Periodontal therapy is a “deep cleaning” that targets the area above and below your gum line, where flossing and brushing cannot reach. Our qualified dental hygienists and dentists will remove the plaque, calculus( tartar), and bacteria hiding below the gum line and on the surface of the teeth. By eliminating the bacteria, swelling will decrease. Most, if not all, bleeding will stop, and the gum tissue will reattach to the teeth, preventing further bone and tooth loss.

In advanced periodontitis, treatment may require gum surgery along with regenerative procedures to help restore lost gum tissue or bone grafting to help regenerate and stabilize the bone. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning can help catch the disease early and safeguard against the progression of gum disease to an advanced stage.

Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist at Great Lake Family Dental will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate gum disease treatment.

For more information about the progression of periodontal disease, click here.

Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Tobacco use
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications including steroids, oral contraceptives or blood pressure medication
  • Genetics
  • HIV infection

Gum Treatment

Depending on the stage of gum disease or periodontal disease, gum treatment ranges from non-invasive therapy that controls the growth of bacteria, to surgery, that restores supportive tissues. Your overall health and length of the gum disease will determine which treatment is best for you.

Non-Surgical Gum Treatment

  • Professional dental cleaning – removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.
  • Scaling and root planing – under local anesthetic, plaque, and tartar is removed and scraped away (scaling), and teeth that have rough spots are smoothed (planing).

Surgical Gum Treatments

Typically, scaling and planing will treat gum disease. However, surgical treatment is needed when unhealthy tissue around the teeth cannot be restored without surgery.

  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction
  • Bone grafts
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Bone surgery

Gum Disease Leads to Other Health Conditions

There is a strong connection between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, low birth weight, and premature birth. You can lower your risk of many serious medical conditions by maintaining healthy gums and teeth with good oral hygiene.

You can prevent gum disease!

If you are not showing periodontal disease signs currently, you can prevent future gum disease by brushing and flossing with fluoride toothpaste, rinsing with a mouthwash two to three times a day and schedule regular dental checkups and dental hygiene appointments.

Our staff are experts in all things related to oral care, from every stage of gum disease to emergency dental services and general routine care. Not only do we have convenient hours we offer treatment options that are affordable.

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If your request is a dental emergency, or you would like to call and schedule your dental appointment, contact information for our offices can be found here: Great Lakes Family Dental Locations. New patient offer not valid for emergency appointments.