Preserve Teeth And Gums
WITH PERIODONTAL CARE
If you have periodontal disease (gum disease), proper treatment and care is imperative to halt and reverse the condition. At Luck Family Dental, our Fort Mill family dentist offers professional periodontal care services to help mitigate the effects of gum disease. Call today or visit our Fort Mill periodontist to get started and improve your dental health!
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is an infection of the gums. Like tooth decay (cavities), it is caused by oral bacteria. These bacteria form a clear, sticky substance called “plaque”, and build up around the gum line, causing infection and inflammation. Over time, this plaque calcifies into tartar, which is very difficult to remove, and continues to attack your gums and the roots of your teeth.
Signs & Symptoms
RECOGNIZING PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Minor cases of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, are completely reversible with proper treatment. The most common symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Bleeding when brushing the teeth
- Gum soreness and discomfort
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Discoloration or reddening of the gums
As gum disease progresses, the symptoms become much more severe. They include:
- Shifting of teeth in the mouth and changes in bite
- Loosening or complete loss of one or more teeth
- Pus between the teeth
- Sensitivity and pain while chewing
Advanced cases of gum disease are incurable. The symptoms can be treated, but the damage done to your mouth is permanent. This is why immediate care is required if you notice any of the above symptoms.
What Are My Options?
TREATING PERIODONTAL DISEASE
The right treatment for periodontal disease depends on how far the disease has progressed. A few common treatments include:
- Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) – This treatment uses special dental tools to scrape plaque and tartar away from the teeth, and is often enough to resolve minor cases of gingivitis.
- Periodontal pocket reduction – As periodontal disease progresses, small “pockets” form under your teeth and bacteria collects in these areas and attack your gums. To prevent this, periodontal pocket reduction surgery is performed. Your gums are folded back, cleaned, and then sutured back into place, preventing further infection.
- Antibiotics and oral rinses – Oral antibiotics can be used to help treat gum disease. Oral rinses, such as Peridex, are also very useful in fighting against periodontal disease. After 6 months of use, Peridex reduces oral bacteria levels by up to 97%.
How Do You Kill
Dental procedures like deep cleanings and periodontal pocket reduction can be used by dentists to kill periodontal bacteria, and to eliminate bacteria-filled plaque and tartar from between your gums and your teeth.
Oral antibiotics are also often used to help destroy periodontal bacteria. Prescription mouth rinses like Peridex may also be used, either alone or combined with pill-based antibiotics.
Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly can also help remove and kill periodontal bacteria, and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which is why good at-home dental care is the best way to prevent gum disease.
Can Periodontal Disease
Be Cured At Home?
No. While periodontal disease can be prevented with proper at-home care, it cannot be fully treated without the help of a dentist like Dr. Leah LuckEven the first, reversible stage of “gingivitis” can’t be cured at home.
This is because gingivitis and gum disease are caused by plaque and tartar building up in really hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth and gums. You can’t fully eliminate the bacteria that cause gum disease on your own, because you can’t reach them with normal brushing and flossing.
This is why a “deep cleaning” is needed to treat gingivitis or later stages of gum disease. In this treatment, Dr. Leah Luck is able to clean deeply between the gums and teeth using special dental tools, eliminating most of the bacteria in your mouth and restoring your oral health.
So don’t try to cure your periodontal disease at home. Even if you think you have a minor case of gingivitis, you need to get help from the dentist to make sure that it doesn’t get worse, and to keep your mouth healthy.
How Long Does Gum Disease
Take To Heal?
If you have the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, you can usually expect to heal and recover within 14 days of getting a deep cleaning, assuming you take your prescribed antibiotics and maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing thoroughly.
Once your gingivitis clears up, it will be gone, and it will never come back as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle, and come to Luck Family Dental for routine oral exams and teeth cleanings.
However, this is not the case in the later stages of gum disease, known as “periodontitis” and “advanced periodontitis.” They will never “heal.” They cause irreversible damage to your gums and teeth, and while their progression can be halted and controlled, you cannot eliminate the disease.
Typically, you will need to get periodontal cleanings every 3 months for the rest of your life to keep your gum disease under control, and as long as you get routine cleanings and maintain good oral hygiene, your condition won’t get worse. However, you will never be fully healed.
This is why it’s so important to get help for gum disease as soon as you notice its symptoms. The earlier you catch it, the more likely it is that you can heal and recover completely, and avoid irreversible damage to your mouth.
Maintain Healthy Gums
WITH PERIODONTAL AT LUCK FAMILY DENTAL
If you think that you may have gingivitis or gum disease, call us today to schedule an appointment and get treatment right away. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to suffer from the serious, irreversible symptoms of advanced periodontal disease. Dr. Luck will perform a comprehensive oral exam, and help you understand your best options for preventing and reversing gum disease. Call now at (803) 548-6370 to get started, or visit our office at 342 Patricia Lane, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708.