Gum Disease Treatment in East Longmeadow, MA
In the United States, 47% of all adults have some form of gum disease. Gum disease can harm your oral health, but it can also affect your overall well-being and cause serious health problems. If you have gum disease, Gregory Zirakian, DMD, at East Longmeadow Family Dental Center Center can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to see if gum disease treatment is right for you.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, refers to the inflammation and infection of your gums along with the bone that supports your teeth.
Some of the most common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Purplish or reddish gums
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Changes in how your teeth fit together
There are four main stages of gum disease. The first stage is gingivitis, which begins with puffy and red gums that may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. At this stage, there is no bone loss, so the problem is reversible with the right gum disease treatment.
The second stage of gum disease is mild periodontitis. At this stage, bacteria have made their way under your gums and are starting to affect the supporting jawbone. You may notice your gums pulling away from your teeth, creating pockets. These pockets are hard to reach, even with a toothbrush, allowing more bacteria to collect in the area.
Moderate periodontitis is the next stage. Bacteria begin to erode your ligaments, bones, and soft tissues. You may see pus along your gumline, and you may notice you have bad breath. At this stage, you can also start to feel pain.
The last stage is advanced periodontitis. The bone loss gets worse, leading to your teeth becoming looser. They may eventually fall out.
If you have already begun to lose bone, you may need a more complex gum disease treatment, like gum surgery.
Causes of Gum Disease
There are many causes of gum disease, but the most common is plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance containing bacteria. It is created from food particles and saliva, which is why having poor oral hygiene can increase your chances of developing gum disease.
Other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing gum disease are:
- Living with diabetes or another autoimmune disease
Genetic factors also play a role. If your parents, siblings, or grandparents had gum disease, you are more likely to have this problem, too.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
If you have symptoms of gum disease, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Zirakian. He will begin by examining your gums and teeth. He might then take CBCT X-rays to check on your jawbone as well.
Dr. Zirakian will ask about your medical history, the medications you take, and your oral hygiene routine. All of this information can help him put together a gum disease treatment plan that is appropriate for your needs.
If you are in the very early stages of gum disease, one appropriate option is a professional dental cleaning. At this stage, there is no bone loss, so a more conservative gum disease treatment can prevent further damage.
One of the best ways to fight early gum disease is to begin a more rigorous oral hygiene routine, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. You will need to use fluoride toothpaste.
Dr. Zirakian will recommend that you schedule regular appointments with him to check on your gums.
You may also have to make lifestyle changes. If you smoke, do your best to quit. Limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks as well, and keep on top of health conditions like diabetes.
Scaling and Root Planing
A scaling and root planing procedure is similar to standard dental cleaning, but it allows the dental hygienist to go deeper into the gums, removing bacteria where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. It is a good gum disease treatment for those with mild symptoms.
The procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gumline and then planing (smoothing out) the surfaces of the roots to make it harder for bacteria to reattach to them.
A scaling and root planing procedure can take a few appointments and does require local anesthesia.
Certain medications might be included in a gum disease treatment plan.
Antibiotic microspheres or antiseptic chips can be a good option. They go into the pockets between your gums and your teeth, releasing medication over time.
There are also antibiotic gels that work well to manage the disease.
Surgical procedures can also be effective treatment options for those who have advanced gum disease.
If you have suffered bone loss, this surgery can involve bone grafting procedures. It may also include tissue grafting to reinforce thin gums and fill in spaces where your gums have receded.
You can also have surgery to reduce the pockets that may have formed around your teeth while at the same time removing tartar. This procedure can help reduce the spaces where bacteria can settle.
Preventing Gum Disease
If you have a family history of gum disease or have a higher risk of developing this problem, you can take steps to prevent it.
One of the most important things you can do is schedule regular appointments with Dr. Zirakian. He will look for the first signs of the disease and act quickly if he sees them.
In addition, you should maintain a consistent routine of brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. It also helps to eat a healthy diet, limiting sugars and starches.
Get Healthier Gums
The health of your gums can play a big role in your overall well-being, with bone loss and infections posing serious risks. If you have any symptoms of gum disease, even mild ones, reaching out for help is the best thing you can do.
East Longmeadow Family Dental Center in East Longmeadow, MA, offers gum disease treatments that can help you at all stages of the problem. Gregory Zirakian, DMD, has almost 40 years of experience helping people with their oral health needs.
With state-of-the-art facilities that include some of the latest technologies available, you can depend on our expert care.