Healthy Gums Promote Lifelong Smiles
Your gums are a fundamental part of your dental health – yet many adults have gum disease and don’t even realize it! Our periodontal treatments ensure that your gums stay healthy and that you can enjoy your smile for years to come.
At the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, our team is passionate about protecting your smile. Dr. Bartholomew and his team combine experience with the latest technology to provide the highest quality treatment for our patients.
Don’t let gum disease take control of your smile. Keep your gums in great shape when you schedule an appointment with us today.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
In the early stage, gum disease is subtle, and the symptoms can be easy to miss. By the time the symptoms become obvious, it means that the gum disease is serious and poses a threat to your dental health.
The most common signs of gum disease include:
- Red and inflamed gums
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
- Sensitivity to heat, cold, or touch
- Dark-colored gums
- A receding gum line exposing tooth roots
- An abscess in the gums
- Pain in the teeth or gums
What Do I Do if I Think I Have Gum Disease?
The most important thing is to see the dentist. Dr. Bartholomew will always check your gums during your routine visits, but if you see signs of advanced gum disease, it may be worth making an appointment sooner.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Most people think that gum disease is only caused by poor at-home tooth care, but other factors can contribute as well. Any of these can combine to lead to gum disease, so being aware of your risk factors can help you protect your gum health.
- Poor oral hygiene
- A rich diet of sugary or acidic foods
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Having crooked or misaligned teeth
- Illness, especially diabetes
- Certain medications
- Hormone changes, especially during pregnancy
How Does the Dentist Diagnose Gum Disease?
When you visit our office, we perform a thorough exam to check for signs of poor health, and this includes looking for gum disease. We look for any areas where the gums are red, swollen, or starting to pull away from the tooth.
One of the most important tests is checking for pockets below the gum line. We use a special probe to gently measure the depth of the space between the tooth and gums. If the pocket is beyond a certain length, or there are other symptoms present, the dentist can see that the gum disease is advancing and recommend swift treatment.
What Treatments are There for Gum Disease?
The kind of treatment you need will depend on the condition of your gums. A close evaluation helps the dentist determine what level of treatment you need.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis (which means inflamed gums) and is the easiest to treat. Your six-month cleanings and exams are an essential part of preventing gum disease.
During these cleanings, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup around and below the gum line, which normal brushing and flossing can’t reach. This removes the irritation from the gum line, allowing the inflammation to go down and the gums to become healthy again.
You’ll also need to practice good hygiene at home, and limit risk factors that contribute to gum disease, such as tobacco, alcohol, and sugary foods.
If gum disease has advanced to the second stage, periodontitis, a more in-depth treatment approach is needed.
As pockets begin forming under the gum line, filled with tartar and bacteria, the dentist will perform a procedure called a deep cleaning. This is also known as scaling and root planing.
First, the pockets are disinfected to remove any bacteria. The plaque and tartar are then removed from the tooth roots (scaling). Finally, a special tool smooths out the surface of the root (root planing) so that the gums can reattach and secure the tooth in place. We may also provide medication such as antibiotics and special mouth rinses to eliminate further bacterial infections and help the gums to heal.
Advanced Periodontitis Treatment
Severe gum disease may require surgical treatment. Pocket reduction surgery helps to shrink the open pockets below the gums and speed healing.
If the gums have receded, they sadly will not grow back on their own, even with time. However, gum graft surgery can replace the tissue and restore your natural gum line for better health and aesthetics.
How Does Laser Dentistry Benefit My Treatment?
We rely on state-of-the-art technology to provide the best treatment for our patients. We use dental lasers for all soft-tissue procedures. Thanks to lasers, you can expect:
- Shorter treatment times
- More precise treatment
- Greater comfort during treatment
- Faster post-op healing
Gum Maintenance and After-care
It takes time for your gums to heal after being treated for gum disease. While advanced gum disease is not reversible, with proper professional and at-home care, you can enjoy a healthy smile again!
Do I Really Need Maintenance Checkups?
Unfortunately, once the gums have been infected, they’re much more likely to relapse.
The dentist regularly recommends that patients who’ve had gum disease come in more often for specialized exams and cleanings to ensure that their gums heal well. During these exams, we pay close attention to pocket depth and the color and sensitivity of your gums. We also make sure there is no tartar buildup above or below the gums.
How Do I Care for My Gums at Home? 7 Steps to Great Gum Care!
Taking good care of your gums every day is essential to helping them heal and stay healthy! Our office takes time to talk to our patients about tools, techniques, and healthy habits they can use on a regular basis. If you have any question or would like tips on at-home care, please don’t hesitate to ask!
To help you get off to a good start, consider these 7 tips!
- Brush twice a day, especially before bed.
- Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush for gentler gum care.
- Floss once a day between every tooth.
- Use a therapeutic mouthwash.
- Trade sugary foods for vitamin-rich fruits and veggies.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
- Chew sugar-free gum with xylitol.
Your Gums are in Good Hands
The surest way to keep your gums healthy is to see the dentist regularly. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re proud to help countless Mansfield patients keep their smiles healthy and free of gum disease.
Are you ready to protect your smile from gum disease? Schedule a visit to our office today!