Gum Disease Treatment
Colorado Springs, CO
Here at SmileCOS Dentistry, we treat people with different levels of gum disease severity.
While there are several reasons why gum disease may occur, a good dental cleaning and consultation with Andrew Miller, DDS or Francisco Darquea, DDS, along with proper oral hygiene, can typically prevent them from arising.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gums.
You might not know this, but bacteria is already in your mouth. The bacteria are in your mouth all the time, but you can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth by brushing and flossing your teeth.
While many infections are painful, gum disease usually isn't, until it reaches the later stages.
If you have a bacterial infection, you can keep the bacteria down by practicing good oral hygiene: brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash to keep the number of bacteria down.
If you practice good oral hygiene, you may be able to stave off gum disease. Some people will still get gum disease despite their best efforts.
What are the 6 Types of Gum Disease?
There are various stages of gum disease, each increasing with severity: the beginning stage is gingivitis, the next progression is early periodontitis (followed by aggressive, chronic, systemic, and necrotizing periodontitis).
The first stage of gum disease is usually called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a very common disease. Millions of people in the US have gingivitis every year. A lot of people don't realize that they have gingivitis.
Signs of gingivitis include
||gums are red and swollen
||bleeding gums, especially when you brush and floss.
||parts of your gums that are more swollen than other parts, which is normal for gingivitis.
If you have gingivitis, you can get your gum disease treated, and there won't be any permanent damage to your gums.
If you have stage two of gum disease, it is called mild or early periodontitis. During the second stage of gum disease, your gums may still be red, bloody and swollen, like they are with stage one.
During stage two, pockets or spaces develop between your gums and your teeth. These pockets cause real problems with gum disease. They harbor infection, and that makes gum disease very difficult to get control of.
You may notice that you have bad breath, or a bad taste in your mouth.
In this stage of periodontitis, you might notice that your gums are separating from the gumline. This stage consists of attachment loss and bone destruction.
Chronic periodontitis affects the tissues that support your teeth and surround them. Therefore, you might notice there are also signs of infection along the gums.
In this stage we may still be able to treat the disease, but we may not be able to completely restore your gums.
Your gums may shrink, and your teeth may appear larger. You may notice that you have loose teeth, which might mean that you have problems chewing your food. During this stage of gum disease, you may notice the seriousness of the disease itself.
Because periodontitis creates such a high risk of infection developing within your mouth and gums, it also increases the risk of developing other systemic diseases in your body such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease, among many others.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop oral health problems.
Your oral health affects your overall health, and it is therefore crucial to have a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
In this final stage of periodontal disease, infection will ultimately lead to bone loss and tooth loss.
Unhealthy teeth will need to be extracted to prevent further infection, and once your gums are healed, you may need to look into tooth restoration options such as dental implants.
What Are Gum Disease Symptoms?
Gum disease is typically characterized by swollen gums that feel tender and sometimes bleed. The gums tend to look reddish or purplish. They can also feel painful when touched.
At advanced stages, the gums will often recede or pull back from the teeth until eventually, the tooth on top of the afflicted part of the gum will fall out.
In contrast, healthy gums should feel firm. They also tend to have a light pinkish color, but this sometimes depends on skin color. In some people with darker skin, their gums tend to be naturally darker, too.
They should not bleed or feel sore or tender to the touch.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Patients should realize there are both surgical options and non-surgical options in order to properly evaluate and treat their gum disease.
When it comes to non-surgical interventions for your gum disease, one process is tried and true.
Our professionals utilize a technique called scaling and root planing. This procedure targets your gum disease at its source and removes the harmful plaque and tartar that can lead to worsening symptoms.
If gum disease is not caught early on before it has a chance to spread, then it can quickly take root in the mouth. When this happens, surgical treatment can become the only viable way of eliminating the infection.
Examples of surgical treatments we offer include: gingivectomy, pocket reduction surgery, and bone grafting.
There are a number of other surgical treatments that can reduce or eliminate gum disease. Most of these focus on different ways of regrowing tissue and bone. Some of the methods include soft tissue grafting, guided tissue regeneration, and even a specialized gel of proteins that stimulate tissue growth.
Is Gum Disease Curable? Can It be Reversed?
Gum disease can only be reversed and cured in the early stage of gingivitis. It can be treated in the more advanced stages; however, it will never completely go away.
Is Gum Disease Contagious?
You can potentially pick up germs from those close to you that have gum disease if you kiss, share utensils, straws, or cups with them.
You should never share a toothbrush with someone else.
The best practice to keep gum disease away is to maintain a healthy, regular oral hygiene routine.
Schedule an Appointment With Your Colorado Springs Dentist!
Gum disease is fairly simple to prevent. Nevertheless, if you or someone you know seems to be having problems with their gums, you can contact us here at SmileCOS Dentistry at (719) 394-3304
. We are always glad to help, no matter your stage of gum disease.