Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which results from bacteria mixing with the food left in your mouth. It forms a sticky plaque on your teeth that attracts other food particles. If you don’t have the plaque removed, it can turn into a hard substance called tartar.
Tartar can only be removed by your dental team during a thorough dental cleaning. If left untreated, it can cause inflammation, bleeding and sore, red gums. Without professional intervention, you risk developing a more serious form of gum disease: periodontitis.
Another danger of leaving your gingivitis untreated is that the inflammation can become an infection — known as periodontal disease — that requires surgical gum treatment. With periodontal disease, your gums pull away from your teeth. The little pockets that form then fill with bacteria, snowballing the infection. Effective and early gum disease treatment in Sohosmile NYC dentistry help you maintain the health and appearance of your mouth.
Factors That Increase Your Risk for Requiring Gum Treatment
Good dental health habits — like brushing and flossing regularly — help you avoid gum disease. But no matter how often you brush, you may still develop gingivitis, the first step toward periodontal disease. It’s a common condition everywhere; the goal is to not let it get worse.
Several conditions place you at greater risk for developing or having difficulty fighting gum disease. The most common include:
- A family tendency toward periodontal disease
- Taking medications that cause dry mouth, reducing the amount of saliva you have to effectively bathe your teeth
- Smoking cigarettes
- Hormonal changes, such as in girls at puberty or women in menopause, during pregnancy or from hormone treatments
- Abusing drugs
- A diabetes diagnosis
- Treatments for cancer or AIDS
- Being overweight
Symptoms Precipitating Receding Gum Treatment
While gingivitis starts slowly and silently, the symptoms get progressively worse along with the disease. Seek gum treatment from your Manhattan dentist if you notice:
- Red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums
- Chewing that produces discomfort
- Sensitivity in your teeth, especially around the root when exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath regardless of brushing and mouthwash
- Gums that recede from your teeth
Options for Gum Disease Treatment
Keeping biannual dental checkups on your schedule allows a family dentist like Dr. John Koutsoyiannis to spot early warning signs of gum disease. That’s the value of building a relationship with a dentist who’s been trained in periodontics.
Dr. John works to reverse your gingivitis or periodontitis. The first task is to control the symptoms of infection, swelling and bleeding. After a thorough dental exam and cleaning, your SoHo dental specialist may take x-rays to pinpoint the exact location of the tartar and check if there is any damage to your underlying bone structure. Types of gum infection treatment include:
- Scaling and root planning. This process involves very deep cleaning underneath the gum line of the affected teeth, scraping the tartar off your teeth and removing rough spots around the tooth root. Occasionally, SoHo dental specialist Dr. John uses a laser in combination with a local anesthetic.
- Medications. Antiseptic chips, antibiotic gel and enzyme suppressants inhibit bacteria. Prescription mouthwash or oral antibiotics may also be necessary.
- Surgery. Gum infection treatment may require surgery. Flap surgery pulls back your gums, allowing your dentist to clean the tartar. Sutures tighten any pockets to resist bacteria.
- Grafts. Your dentist may suggest a gum graft or bone graft to regenerate lost tissue or bone. They’re often performed at the same time as flap surgery.
- Tissue regeneration or tissue-stimulating proteins. Medication may help your gum tissue heal. This treatment, which stimulates your tissue, can be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Aftercare for Receding Gum Treatment
Regardless whether you a receive deep cleaning, scaling, root planing or more invasive surgery, all these treatments cause some pain and discomfort. Your level of discomfort depends on the stage of the disease. The earlier you get gum treatment, the less painful it is. Over-the-counter medication is commonly all you need, as the discomfort is temporary.
Most patients report satisfaction and good results from gum infection treatment, gum disease treatment and receding gum treatment. Some studies seem to correlate high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and blood sugar problems with advanced periodontitis. Seek gum abscess treatment immediately to avoid more serious health problems.