The Impact of Gum Disease Goes Beyond Smile Aesthetics
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by harmful bacteria living beneath the gum line, in spaces known as “periodontal pockets.” These bacteria emit toxins, which cause the body to destroy bone and other structures supporting your teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, changes in your smile and a other health problems.
The Oral-Systemic Relationship
Established scientific research has discovered a relationship between gum disease in the mouth and illnesses within other body systems. Gum disease has been linked to a number of systemic health concerns, including:
- Heart disease
- Pre-term labor
- Low birth weight infants
- Respiratory illness
- Certain cancers
Common Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums
- Redness or inflammation
- Swollen or tender gums
- Pus around teeth
- Bad taste or odor
- Tooth mobility
- Receding gum line
- Sensitive teeth
- Periodontal pocketing
*Some cases present with no obvious signs or symptoms of gum disease
Gum Disease Treatment Options Restore Health to Your Smile
Early treatment of gum disease offers the best possible results for your health and smile. In addition to traditional periodontal therapy, Dr. Lauren Anderson offers additional treatment options to reach successful outcomes with a minimally invasive approach. Using laser technology along with traditional gum therapy is one example of her conservative approach. Dr. Lauren Anderson offers the following treatments for gum disease:
Scaling and Root Planing Therapy
With this non-surgical gum disease treatment, we utilize specially designed instruments to gently and thoroughly disrupt the biofilm layer and remove plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line. Eliminating these deposits allows gum tissue to reattach to tooth surfaces, improving periodontal health and reducing pocket depths. Scaling and root planing is often the first line of therapy in treating gum disease.
Osseous surgery may be recommended for more advanced cases of gum disease where pocketing still remains after scaling and root planing. With this technique, Dr. Anderson numbs treatment areas and gently retracts gum tissue, providing access to deep areas of infection. She then debrides the root surfaces of plaque and tartar and smooths bone discrepancies created by bacterial toxins. Resorbable sutures are placed and treatment sites are allowed to heal.
Maintaining gum and bone health following gum disease treatment is important for long term results. With periodontal maintenance cleanings and exams, our team helps you manage oral bacteria you cannot reach to reduce the potential for relapse and maintain your periodontal health. Periodontal maintenance visits occur every three to four months, and may be alternated with your general dentist. When gum disease is present, receiving general cleanings (prophylaxis) every six months is insufficient in managing oral health as it is correlated with periodontal relapse.
Your Smile Deserves the Expertise of a Specialist
There is no cure for gum disease. However, with periodontal management and meticulous homecare, you can arrest the disease process and minimize its effects. As a diplomate and board certified periodontist, Dr. Anderson has advanced training and expertise in helping you manage your gum disease to enjoy a healthy, happy smile for years to come.