Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease. This swelling and
inflammation of the gingiva is typically caused by a build-up of plaque.
Symptoms of this form of gum disease include swollen or tender gums,
and bleeding, even when gently brushing the teeth. Treatment of
gingivitis involves visits with a periodontist, who will focus on the
removal of bacteria and plaque.
This in-office treatment is combined with in-home treatments such as a
mouth wash containing hydrogen peroxide and flossing. If left untreated,
gingivitis can quickly lead to periodontitis. Therefore, early gum
disease treatment is important to prevent further damage to the oral
cavity. Periodontitis is another more serious form of gum disease that
can eventually lead to tooth loss. While many of the symptoms are the
same, the treatment of periodontitis will require a more aggressive plan
in order to properly treat the disease.
There are many techniques for treating the gum disease periodontitis
that will become gradually more invasive. The initial treatment is a
technique known as scaling and root planing, which is similar to the
treatment of gingivitis. Scaling and root planing is the non-surgical
removal of plaque. It uses specialized dental tools to mechanically
remove the plaque below the gumline, most patients will receive a local
anesthetic for this procedure.
This initial gum disease treatment is effective for most patients
because it immediately stops the progression of gingivitis or
periodontitis when combined with the use of a specialized mouth wash
with essential oils or antibacterial agents. However, some patients will
need a more aggressive treatment involving surgery. Periodontal surgery
allows the periodontist to have better access to the alveolar bone,
which is most affected by the plaque and bacteria.
The purpose of the surgery is two-fold. First, the dentist must remove
the plaque build-up underneath the gum line. If the disease has
progressed enough to damage the alveolar bone, the surgeon can create
bone grafts to treat these irregularities.Aggressive gum disease
treatment is important in the prevention of tooth loss and a decline in
ones overall health. Therefore, even if you skip those twice yearly
visits to the dentist, if you are showing symptoms of gum disease, you
can longer afford to wait to visit an oral health professional.
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