Indianapolis dentist discusses treatment for gum disease

Gum disease is an infection of the soft gum tissue surrounding the teeth and is one of the main reasons for tooth loss in adults. During routine checkups, we always check for signs of gum disease, because when caught early, the symptoms are reversible.

How did I end up with gum disease?

Gum disease develops when there is a buildup of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that is formed from bacteria found naturally in the mouth. When plaque isn’t effectively removed through brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings, it will eventually damage the gums.

Gum disease can be categorized into two stages: Gingivitis and Periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis – The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis produces swollen, red gums. Other symptoms include chronic bad breath or bleeding while brushing. Gingivitis is easily reversible by improvements in oral hygiene.
  • Periodontitis – in the advanced stage of gum disease, the gum tissue and bone become irreversibly damaged. Pockets form between the gums and teeth, and teeth can shift or even fall out.
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Treatment for gum disease

Treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the case. For gingivitis, patients will need to improve brushing and flossing habits at home and may need to have an increased number of professional cleanings until the symptoms have resolved.

Advanced periodontitis may require different forms of treatment. Scaling and root planing is a form of deep cleaning that can remove bacteria trapped in the pockets formed between the teeth and gums. Patients may also require periodontal surgery, bone grafts, and restorations such as dental implants.

By maintaining regular dental check-ups along with proper oral hygiene at home, many cases of gum disease cases can be prevented. If you are in Indianapolis and would like to learn more about reducing your risk of gum disease, call us today.

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