Gum disease is a common condition. Most people have had gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease – at some point in their lives. Improved oral hygiene at home and regular visits to the dentist are often all that’s needed to reverse gingivitis. If it’s not treated, it progresses to periodontal disease. How is gum disease treated?
What is gum disease?
Before we discuss treatment, let’s learn what gum disease is. Your mouth is full of bacteria, most of which are harmless. Brushing and flossing remove the kinds of bacteria that cause plaque, tartar, and decay. If not removed thoroughly, however, the bacteria irritate your gums and cause gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis becomes periodontitis and causes more serious gum infections, tooth loss, and even bone loss.
What causes gum disease?
Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of gum disease. Your risk increases if you smoke or use other tobacco products. Gum disease is also linked to certain medications, pregnancy, autoimmune conditions, and even genetics. The severity of gum disease varies, but no matter what causes it, we can help!
How is gum disease treated?
If improving your oral hygiene at home isn’t enough to reverse your gum disease, we’ll recommend periodontal therapy. You’ll most likely need to visit our office more than the usual two times a year. We’ll perform a deep cleaning, which involves scaling and root planing. Deep cleanings are a bit more uncomfortable than regular cleanings, so we numb your gums with a local anesthetic before treatment. Scaling is when we remove plaque and tartar from the gum pockets. We’ll also apply Arestin antibiotics in the pockets. With root planing, we’ll smooth out the roots of your teeth, helping the gums to reattach. Most of the time, our dentists break up these treatments over several appointments.
Healing gum disease at Riverstone Dental Care
Great oral hygiene at home and biannual visits to one of our locations in Post Falls or Coeur D’Alene help prevent gum disease. If you do develop gum disease, we’ll make a plan to get your health back on track! Whether you’re in the early stages of gingivitis or struggling with a more severe case, we have the knowledge and treatments to help. Please contact us today with any questions or to book an appointment.