Treatment of Gum Disease
At Mangrove Bay Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Toan Tran and our registered dental hygienists will make you feel genuinely cared for as they thoroughly protect your periodontal health with professional prophylactic cleanings and expertly treat any gum inflammation that occurs.
Gum disease, a progressive condition that begins with mild gum inflammation called “gingivitis,” easily occurs and can be easily combated if it is caught early. Left untreated, gingivitis commonly advances into more severe infection below the gum line. This stage of the inflammation is called “periodontitis.” Periodontitis (affecting over 75% of the population) can be effectively treated, but if it is not treated and continues to advance to a severe stage, teeth loss is likely to occur.
Advanced gum disease is the cause of most teeth loss. Chronic infection in the gums destroys gum tissue, tooth ligaments, and bone tissue. Teeth may become loose, and bacteria in gum pockets will erode protective dental enamel. The resulting dental decay perforates the enamel and allows bacteria to reach nerve tissue. A severe tooth ache will then prompt you to seek urgent care in the form of a root canal and crown (if the tooth is not too damaged) or extraction. If a tooth is extracted or falls out due to periodontitis, gum treatment is still needed to reduce bacteria, get infection under control, and save other teeth. Prior to restoring damaged teeth or replacing lost teeth, gum infection will have to be treated.
The Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
The changes you might observe in your gum tissue can be so miniscule from day to day that you may be unaware of them for some time. The common symptoms are:
- Red, puffy, and/or sensitive gums,
- Bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth,
- Receding gum tissue, exposing more of the tooth at the roots,
- Separation of the gum tissue from the teeth, forming “gum pockets,”
- An abscess (localized pussy infection) in the gums,
- Loosening of teeth and a change in your bite (the result of infection damaging the periodontal bone, ligaments and gum tissue that surround and hold a tooth),
- Gum discomfort under a bridge or denture, and
- Changes in the fit of a dentures or bridge (the result of chronic periodontal disease eroding tissue and altering the morphology of the jawbone and overlying gum tissue).
Periodontal Disease Treatment
At Mangrove Bay Dentistry, we will work diligently to maintain your oral health, but if you have gum disease develop, we will provide more frequent dental cleanings and can provide more advanced treatment until the inflammation is under control. Treatment of periodontal disease depends on the severity of your infection.
In the case of mild to moderate periodontal disease, we will focus on eliminating the bacterial infection with more frequent dental cleanings in our office and instruction on the most appropriate oral home care. Sometimes a periodontal scaling (deep cleaning) is needed to remove bacterial plaque and hardened calculus below the gum line and to smooth the dental enamel encasing dental roots. We provide this treatment called “scaling and root planing” (deep cleaning). We also may recommend treatment of gum pockets with antimicrobial medication. If you have developed periodontitis and need this treatment below the gum line, we will schedule the treatment as quickly as possible. Your gum tissue will be fully numbed during the procedure to maximize your comfort.
If your gum infection is severe, you may need surgical periodontal treatment to halt infection. Dr. Tran will refer you to a preferred specialist in our community if this is needed and collaborate with this specialist in planning your treatment and educating you about your special needs.
What Causes of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is primarily caused by inadequate oral hygiene that allows bacteria to remain on the teeth and irritate, then infect surrounding gum tissue. Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth, and calculus (tartar) is dental plaque that has hardened with minerals in the saliva and gum tissue fluid. With twice daily brushing and daily flossing, most patients can control the build up of plaque for weeks, perhaps, a few months. But, within about three months, even the most diligent teeth brushers and flossers will start to develop some plaque along the gum line and between teeth. If plaque hardens to calculus, it cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Even with good oral hygiene, some calculus is likely to build up within six months. That is why regular prophylactic teeth cleaning in the dental office is important for every patient. We’ll remove calculus and plaque, and in the process smooth and polish your tooth surfaces so plaque development is slowed down to a minimum.
In addition to dental plaque and calculus, there are other factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease. Some of the most common risk factors are tobacco use, diabetes, crowded teeth, hormonal changes, a diet high in sugar and other simple carbohydrates, cancer treatment, some mediations, stress, and mouth breathing.
Mangrove Bay Dentistry Diagnoses and Treats Gum Disease to Restore Oral Health
At Mangrove Bay Dentistry in Tampa, we will be delighted to get to know you and provide you with the fine oral health care you deserve, including regular teeth cleaning, dental checkups, periodontal treatment, and restorative care.
We evaluate our patients for gingivitis and more advanced gum disease every time they come for a professional dental cleaning and their three to six-month dental check-up. Every individual, of every age, starting at age one, should have a dental exam at least every six months and a preventive (prophylactic) dental cleaning at least every six months. If you are overdue for a cleaning and/or exam, we are here to serve you and make sure your oral health is maintained. By doing so, you can minimize gum disease, dental decay, and restorative dental treatment throughout your lifetime.
Contact us today! Call (813) 314-7137.