Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a common dental health problem affecting many Americans. When plaque and tartar is left on teeth it provides the right conditions for bacteria to growth. The bacteria irritates the gums and may make them bleed easily. This condition is called Gingivitis. If left untreated, Gingivitis can progress to a more serious form of gum disease and can be extremely damaging to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.
The first step in treating gum disease usually involves a deep cleaning referred to as “scaling and root planing.” Many times, a dentist will follow a deep cleaning with adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials (antimicrobial rinses). Once you have received a deep cleaning to treat gum disease, it is important to keep up a regular oral hygiene regiment at home that includes brushing thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing at least one time per day.
If the periodontal disease is more advanced and cannot be treated effectively using non-surgical methods, gum surgery may be required. There are four different surgical procedures that can be used to treat advanced periodontal disease including pocket reduction procedures, regenerative procedures, dental crown lengthening and gum graft surgery. There is currently some research supporting the use of lasers in treating periodontal disease.
If your gums are red, swollen or bleed easily, you may have periodontal disease. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible so he or she can examine your gums, make a diagnosis and provide the appropriate treatment, if needed.
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