Gum Disease Treatment
Dentist Mt Pleasant
Periodontal (gum) Disease is Very Common
Everyone has disease transporting bacteria in their mouth, and periodontal disease is one of the most chronic and common infections caused by bacteria. It just might surprise you to know that more than half of those over thirty years of age suffer from some degree of this gum or periodontal disease, and of those reaching the age of sixty-five and over, more than 70% have developed it as well.
However, by maintaining regular dental exam appointments and by having a good oral hygiene regimen at home, you will be glad to know that is quite easy to keep it under control.
Bacterial Plaque Causes Periodontal Disease
The primary cause for this type of gum disease is bacterial plaque, which is a sticky substance that is made from food, mucous and bacteria that builds up on the outer portions of your teeth. This plaque hardens and gets trapped at the base of your teeth over a period of time.
Gum Infection (Gingivitis) is The Result of Plaque Build-Up
When this plaque is allowed to collect on your teeth long enough it hardens and becomes what is known as dental calculus or Tartar. Unless this Tartar is removed in a timely manner it can cause gingivitis, infected and inflamed gums and be very harmful to your gums.
If Left Untreated, Gum (Periodontal) Disease Can Progress Dangerously
This type of infection can cause the gums to recede and develop deep pockets between the teeth, since mouth bacteria has been allowed to grow below and over the gum line, due to the teeth roots being exposed.
The teeth in this situation will eventually loosen to the extent that they might have to be extracted, because over a period of time the connective tissues, gums and bones that should be supporting the teeth, are destroyed due to periodontal disease.
Treating Periodontal (Gum) Disease Using Antibiotics
Even though root planing and scaling are quite effective at removing much of the bacteria that can cause periodontal infections, only the proper antibiotics can completely kill that bacteria. Scaling and planing are simply not able to reach the hidden bacteria in the deep gum pockets between the teeth.
In this situation, your dentist may choose to treat your gum disease with an antibiotic known as ARESTIN (minocycline HCI) Microspheres, 1 mg.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease – Symptoms
It would be very prudent to contact your dentist for an appointment if you should experience any of these symptoms listed below:
- Bleeding gums – When a person with healthy gums undergoes a standard dental exam, flosses or brushes their teeth in a normal manner, their gums shouldn’t bleed.
- Gum pockets – periodontal disease can lead to pockets forming in the gums alongside your teeth.
- Loose teeth – It is abnormal to have teeth that wiggle in their socket. Your teeth can be loosened over a period of time if you have gum disease.
- Shifting teeth – Periodontal or gum disease also affects the supporting tissue and bone for your teeth, and can be the cause, over time, of teeth changing position and shifting.
- Bad breath – gum or periodontal disease can be caused by the toxins that are released from chronic bad breath.
- Painful or tender gums – tooth sensitivity can sometimes be traced back to the exposed tooth roots of receding gums.
- Gums that are red – periodontal disease is indicated when there is even a slight redness in the color of your gums.
- Swollen gums – swelling in the gums is also an indication of periodontal infection.
The Two Stages of Gum or Periodontal Disease
- Stage I – Gingivitis: Since only the gums are affected in this stage, it is much easier to be treated and can be reversed with the proper oral hygiene regimen. However, if it is left untreated, it can progress to the more serious condition we will discuss next.
- Stage II – Periodontitis: If gingivitis is not treated in a timely manner, this stage two gum disease will take hold. Periodontitis will allow several factors to work together, producing the necessity of dental surgery and even bone loss that is irreversible!
Gum Disease Treatments
- SRP, Scaling and Root Planing, is a proven treatment for gum or periodontal disease, but it can still leave behind enough of the bacteria to continue causing infection. Your dentist will clean tartar and plaque from your teeth, all the way down, including the roots, using the SRP (scaling and root planing) procedure.This procedure can remove much of the plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line, but it can also leave enough mouth bacteria behind to still cause periodontal disease.This is one of those cases where the best treatment is combining the SRP procedure above with the previously mentioned ARESTIN (minocycline HCL), which is a locally administered antibiotic. This is a time-released antibiotic powder, composed of 100,000 tiny microspheres, which your dentist will add to the gum pockets between your teeth during a single office appointment.Applying this ARESTIN will make the treatment of your gum disease more effective, and it is a painless procedure, that can effectively kill any bacteria that might be left behind during the SRP procedure. It also continues doing its work long after your dental appointment!