Gum Disease and Treatment
Getting a diagnosis of gum disease can be scary. This condition is often associated with people who have poor oral hygiene practices. People who don’t brush and floss their teeth regularly are the ones who get it. While these people are at an increased risk, even those who do brush and floss every day can still get it. Just because you have been told you have gum disease, this does not mean that you are doomed to lose your teeth, however. Amir Sanjabi, DDS can help.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease first begins as gingivitis. Many people are familiar with this term. Even though the term is so well known, most people who develop gingivitis are unaware of its presence. This is because gingivitis is practically silent. At this stage, only the gums are affected, and the damage is minor.
The next stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. At this stage, bacteria are beginning to attack the supporting structures of your teeth, including the bone. The longer the condition goes untreated, the more damage that is done. Eventually, it can turn into advanced periodontitis. At this stage, there is significant bone loss. This can lead to tooth loss or the need for extractions.
Will I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Certain symptoms can indicate that you have gum disease. In the beginning, though, it can be rather difficult to notice. The earliest symptoms include having gums that are red and swollen. You might also notice blood when you brush or floss. Later stages of gum disease are more noticeable. Unfortunately, the effects are much worse. At these stages, you begin to notice gum recession, tooth sensitivity, halitosis, loose, shifting teeth, pus or oozing, and tooth loss.
Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease is treatable. Gingivitis is the only stage that can be reversed. This is done with a good professional gum cleaning and maintenance, and making sure that you take good care of your mouth every day at home. Periodontitis is not reversible, but it can still be treated, and the condition managed. Your treatment is based on the severity of your gum disease when you come in for your appointment.
Until recently, the only options available for the treatment of gum disease have been invasive and potentially painful. Fortunately, we have made LANAP® laser gum treatment available to our clients! LANAP® uses laser light in the deep pockets between the gum and tooth to remove and prevent the bacteria that cause periodontitis. The gums are left completely intact and are compressed against the tooth.
If the diseased gums are surrounding a dental implant, we also have the LAPIP™ Laser, made specifically for people who have gum disease around implants. This procedure is an alternative to traditional Flap and Osseous surgery.
Maintaining Your Oral Health After a Gum Disease Diagnosis
Following gum disease, it is essential that you continue to practice good oral hygiene to prevent it from coming back. This includes regular dental cleanings. If you have been treated for periodontitis, we may also recommend that you have regular cleanings called periodontal maintenance. These are visits that are spaced out approximately every 3 months. These cleanings are meant to provide additional healing while also helping you to prevent gum disease from worsening again. These cleanings are more in-depth and take the place of the routine dental cleanings. If you are recommended periodontal maintenance, it is important that you follow your schedule to keep your mouth healthy.
If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, no matter how insignificant they may seem, it is important to be seen as soon as possible. Call Amir Sanjabi, DDS at (562) 287-8016 to schedule your appointment today.