Your gums are what supports your teeth, so having healthy gums is just as important as having good teeth! Gum disease can occur in adults at any age and any time. If left untreated, gum disease causes your teeth to become sensitive, loose and eventually leads to tooth loss. Noticeable signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, bad breath and teeth sensitivity. In its more advanced stages, gum disease causes infection, tooth separation and loss of multiple teeth. Additionally, gum disease has been linked to heart conditions and other medical issues. This is because the bacteria spreads from infected gums through the bloodstream to the rest of your body, compromising your overall health.
To properly treat gum disease, we must first diagnose your condition. We examine your X-rays to look for signs of bone loss around teeth, tartar buildup and other hidden gum problems. A visual exam follows to look for areas of redness, inflammation and gum recession. If it is determined that there are signs of gum disease, then a full periodontal exam ensues. This includes measuring pocket depths of teeth, accessing areas of bleeding and checking teeth for mobility and bone loss. Once your periodontal examination is completed, we can determine what type of a cleaning you require and how frequently you need follow-up cleanings.
The type of cleaning you get depends on whether you have gum disease or not and it goes like this:
In the absence of gum disease, you will receive a regular cleaning and polish. Most patients with no gum disease require dental cleanings every 6 months to a year.
If you suffer from ginigivitis but no periodontits, treatment typically involves a more comprehensive cleaning known as full mouth debridement (FMD). FMD involves light scaling of your teeth roots to remove tartar and offending bacteria to get your gums back to being healthy. Oftentimes, we also prescribe antibiotics, oral rinses and other adjunct treatment to better eliminate the bacteria from your gums.
If you suffer from periodontitis, the most advanced case of gum disease, then you will require a deep cleaning. Deep cleanings remove heavy tartar and calculus build-ups from underneath your gumlines. Deep cleaning treatment requires rigorous scaling and the use of a cavitron. It is typically performed under anesthetic and takes several visit to complete. If you suffer from periodontitis, we will recommend a follow-up maintenance within 3 to 4 months. In the meantime, it is up to you to brush and floss your teeth to maintain healthy gums until your next appointment. Depending on how things look on your follow-up appointment, we will determine if your periodontitis is under control or if more advanced treatment, such as surgery or laser debridement, is indicated.