Treatments for Gum Disease
Do your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth? If you answered yes, you are most likely suffering from gum disease, a condition that can be dangerous to your oral health if left untreated. Gum disease has a number of symptoms varying in severity; to properly treat your gum disease it is important to see a dentist to determine the extent of infection. At Dr. Michael Bixby's Red Bank cosmetic dentistry practice, we can provide you with the right gum disease treatment for your needs.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is, simply put, an infection of the gum tissue. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, results from a buildup of plaque. Plaque is made of saliva, food particles, and bacteria. Insufficient brushing and flossing can leave plaque along the gum line. Residual plaque creates a breeding ground for bacteria and causes infection of the tissue. As plaque builds up and ages it develops into tartar. Daily brushing and flossing, along with routine dental visits are critical in removing plaque and tartar.
There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis - Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. Unlike healthy gums, which are pink and firm, gums with gingivitis tend to be red, swollen, and tender. A telltale sign of gingivitis is bleeding gums with brushing and flossing.
Periodontitis - Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease. With periodontitis the gum disease spreads below the gum line, infecting the bone and tissue that secure the teeth in place. As a result, those who suffer from periodontitis, may experience loosening of the teeth and even tooth loss. Other symptoms include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus at the gums
- Gums pulling away from the teeth
What Are the Treatments for Gingivitis?
Mild gingivitis can often be successfully treated by maintaining proper oral hygiene. This includes:
- Thorough brushing at least twice a day
- Daily flossing
- Regular cleanings from your dentist
- Rinsing with an oral antiseptic mouthwash
What Are the Treatments for Periodontitis?
Periodontitis varies in severity so treatment must be decided after a complete dental exam. Some possible treatments offered by our Red Bank restorative dentistry practice includes:
- Root Planing and Scaling- This is a deep cleaning procedure performed where plaque and tartar are removed both below and above the gum line.
- Gingivectomy- A gingivectomy is the removal of diseased gum tissue followed by reshaping of the gum.
- Gum surgery - Dr. Bixby may perform gum surgery to re-attach the gums to the teeth. For patients that have lost gum tissue, a gum graft procedure may be performed.
- Bone grafts - Damaged bone may require a graft. Bone grafts can be made of a synthetic material or bone from your own body. After cleaning and repair, the gum is secured with stitches.
Don't let gum disease develop into a serious condition. Contact the practice of Dr. Michael Bixby to schedule an appointment with us. Our experienced staff is ready to develop a treatment plan and meet all of your dental needs.