Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease affects three out of four adults. It is caused by bacterial plaque build-up that infects the periodontal (gum) tissues. This infection destroys the tissue and bone that supports the teeth. The #1 cause of adult tooth loss in America
is periodontal disease.
A recent ADA (American Dental Association) survey has shown that 75% of American adults believe they have "good dental health", while at the very same time, they admit their gums bleed after brushing or flossing. In fact,
bleeding gums are an early sing of gum disease.
Gum disease progresses most frequently without painful symptoms. That is why everyone should have a periodontal evaluation at established intervals. Delaying treatment will result in more advanced disease.
Mounting evidence relates gum disease to variety of health concerns, some that are life threatening. A recent study describes the association between heart disease and gum disease to be at least as strong as the linkage of heart disease to cholesterol,
body weight, or smoking.
At some point in their lives, most people will suffer from periodontal disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation or infection of the gums and bone that supports the teeth. It's caused by the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, nearly clear colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth).
While seldom painful and frequently free of any obvious signs or symptoms, periodontal disease can progress, undetected, to the point where supporting bone is destroyed. With 80% to 90% of all teenagers having some form of gingivitis (inflamed gums)
and 75% of adult tooth loss for people over the age of 35 due to periodontal disease, early treatment and prevention is essential. While periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a number of other factors including poorly fitting bridges, badly aligned
teeth and defective fillings contribute to the development of this condition.
Gum disease warning signs
The American Dental Association has developed a simple self-test you can take:
If you answered Yes to any of these questions you could have the disease.
Better yet, to be absolutely certain, make an appointment for a thorough check up and expert diagnosis. Early treatment can save you a lot of pain, both in your mouth and in your bank account.
Stages of periodontal (gum) disease
- Gums have healthy pink color
- Gum line hugs teeth tightly
- No bleeding
- Gums bleed easily when you brush or when probed gently during examination
- Gums are inflamed and sensitive to touch
- Possible bad breath and bad taste
- Gums between teeth may look bluish-red in color
- Gums may begin to pull away from the teeth
- Bleeding, puffiness and inflammation more pronounced
- Slight loss of bone, horizontally on X-ray
- Pockets of 3-4mm between teeth and gums in one or more areas of the mouth
- Gum boils or abscesses may develop
- Teeth look longer as gums begin to recede
- Front teeth may begin to drift, showing spaces
- Bad breath, bad taste
- Both horizontal and angular bone loss on X-ray
- Pockets between teeth and gum range from 4-6mm deep
- Teeth may become mobile or loose
- Bad breath, bad taste are constant
- Roots may be exposed and are sensitive to hot and cold
- Severe horizontal and angular bone loss on X-ray
- Pockets between teeth and gum now in excess of 6mm deep
In the early stages of periodontal disease there is little, if any, pain; therefore you may not notice the gradual onset of puffiness and occasional bleeding. Without thorough removal, toxins from plaque cause the disease process to continue. Periodontal
disease left untreated may result in extensive bone destruction and possible tooth loss.
Soft tissue management
Soft Tissue Management is an individualized plan to eliminate infection of the gums and root surfaces. An appropriate plan will be chosen by your dentist and hygienist. We will perform the treatments to help eliminate infection, make recommendations
to help you more effectively clean your teeth daily, and guide you through our efforts to achieve and maintain oral health.
For our patients with a periodontal condition Ocean View Dental can provide an excellent soft tissue management program to stop tissue and bon degeneration and begin the process to regain a healthy mouth. For further information concerning step to our
soft tissue management program, and products we use and recommend you may line to the Prodentec web site. A Soft Tissue Management treatment plan will enable you to achieve improved health. You will enjoy fresher breath and healthier teeth and gums.
This program combines professional dental care and the Rota-dent plaque removal instrument. This program is also specifically designed to control plaque and permit healing of gum tissue.
Included in the Soft Tissue Management Program is the Rota-dent Professional Homecare Instrument. You will be instructed in the proper use and benefits of this exceptional instrument each time you visit your dental professional's office. Daily homecare
is the key to the success of this program.
Please ask us or oral hygiene professional about this wonderful program on your next visit.
What do we hope to accomplish with Soft Tissue Management?
- Gums that do not bleed
- Fresher breath and taste
- Gums that are not red, swollen, or tender
- Knowing how to effectively maintain good oral hygiene
- Reduced pocket depths
- Control of Periodontal Disease
Laser periodontal therapy and treatment
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide our patients with the best possible care, we're pleased to offer the benefits of dental laser. We hope the following information will "enlighten" you regarding this exciting new technology. Below are answers
to some frequently asked questions about our laser treatment:
As a patient, what does the laser mean to me?
The laser is very precise and allows us to treat gum disease earlier than ever before. We can often intercept problems before they become big and require you to face more serious (and expensive) treatment.
Gum disease is today's most serious dental problem. When the laser treats soft tissue inside the mouth, they is little or no bleeding. That means you probably won't need stitches following surgery. It also means less risk of spreading blood-born disease.
Will it hurt?
The aspect of laser many patients appreciate most is its comfort. While no treatment is truly painless, the laser greatly reduces the need for anesthetics such as Novocain. This enhances our ability to treat patients who are pregnant or medically compromised.
The children we treat are often less fearful. And with the laser, the need for postoperative pain medication is also reduced or eliminated.
Is it safe?
Yes, very safe. Laser like the one in our office have safely performed millions of procedures. This safely is also supported by hundreds of university studies. Our laser is so precise, it only removes a few cell layers at a time. It delivers its bean
in tiny pulses. In any given second, it is actually off longer than it is on. Most procedures use less than three watts of power, less than many portable phones.
Are any precautions necessary?
Laser energy is not radioactive but simply magnified light. However, just as you wear sunglasses while tanning on the beach, you'll wear special glasses during treatment to protect your eyes from prolonged exposure to the bright light.
What does the laser look like?
The dental laser is a suitcase-sized unit which contains an energy source and a sophisticated electronic control system. The laser light is delivered by a pen-like handpiece connected to the energy source by a lightweight optical fiber.
What does it sound like?
As the pulses of laser energy leave the tip of the optical fiber, they emit a slight ticking sound. It is not loud and most of our patients say it is not at all unpleasant.
Is every patient treated with the laser?
Though the laser is a wonderful instrument, it is not appropriate for all procedures. It is frequently used in conjunction with conventional instruments. Please ask us about the role the laser might play in your treatment.
Visit the PerioProtect™ page to learn more about this innovative treatment option.