It is estimated that over 50 percent of the US population has some form of gum disease. Whether it’s mild gingivitis or more advanced periodontitis, the team at Chatham Family & Implant Dentistry can help improve your gum and oral health.
Visit our Pittsboro, NC dental office to get treatment for all levels of gum disease. Our team provides gentle but thorough care to ensure that your gums and teeth are in top-notch shape.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, occurs when the gums become infected. The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, but things like smoking and diabetes can also cause it, as well as genetics.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is marked by red, tender gums that bleed easily. In this stage, only the gums are affected. In order to prevent gingivitis from getting worse, our team needs to perform a deep cleaning to remove bacterial buildup.
When gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, symptoms get worse and stronger treatment is needed. In this stage, gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets and exposing the roots, allowing for bacteria to settle deep into the gums. Patients also experience early stages of bone loss.
If left untreated, early periodontitis will turn into advanced periodontitis. When this happens, patients experience painful abscesses on their gums, extreme gum recession, and even tooth loss.
How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?
When you come in for your routine exam and cleaning, your dental hygienist will check for signs of gum disease. These signs include redness, inflammation, tenderness, and larger-than-normal gum pockets (the space between the tooth and the gum). We also use x-rays to check for any bone loss that could be caused by gum disease.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
There are a number of ways to treat periodontal disease. Our recommendation will depend on the severity of your gum disease and whether or not the jaw bone is affected.
Scaling & Root Planing
This early gum disease treatment involves a deep cleaning where not only do we clean the surfaces of teeth, but also areas below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar buildup. We also clean the around the roots of the teeth. From here, a strong at-home dental hygiene routine is key to keeping gum disease at bay.
Mild to moderate gum disease can sometimes be treated with the use of antibiotics. We prefer to use this option before moving on to more invasive treatment options. There are two versions of antibiotics: oral antibiotics (a pill) and an antibiotic gel. What we prescribe you will depend on your specific needs.
Prescription Mouth Rinse
Using a prescription strength mouth rinse can also aid in the treatment of mild to moderate gum disease. The mouth rinse helps to remove the bacteria responsible for infection. It also coats the teeth and gums, meaning it keeps working long after the initial rinse.
Maintaining Gum Health
Good gum health, like all oral health, starts at home. Once we’ve performed your periodontal treatment, you will need to keep up strong oral hygiene at home. Before you go home, we’ll show you brushing and flossing techniques that will help keep gum disease at bay.
We want you to have the best smile possible, which is why the team at Chatham Family & Implant Dentistry provides comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, call us to schedule an appointment, and we’ll get you back to enjoying all your favorite things and smiling confidently again fast.