Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that attacks the gums and the bones that support your teeth. It is an infection caused by plaque, which builds up on teeth due to poor brushing habits or improper flossing. When left untreated, it can damage your gums and lead to tooth loss.
This is why regular visits to our Fort Union Family Dental dentist are crucial for catching these warning signs early. If caught early enough, this disease can be treated by scaling and root planing — a procedure that involves removing tartar and bacteria from the mouth. This removes the infection from the gums and allows the mouth to heal.
The Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Patients may not notice their gums are infected, as it typically happens slowly over time. The symptoms are often mild and go unnoticed. If plaque collects along the gum line or between the teeth and isn’t removed with daily brushing and flossing, bacteria will break down and irritate the gum tissues. This irritation and swelling of the gum tissues is an early sign of periodontal disease.
The first symptom is typically red, puffy gums that bleed when brushed and flossed. Your teeth may also feel sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. You may also notice that your gums become loose around your teeth. As the disease progresses, you may notice that pockets form between your teeth and gums. These pockets trap food and bacteria, making brushing and flossing difficult.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It is incredibly preventable with proper hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.
The Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease
Patients suffering from gingivitis and periodontitis may be treated with deep cleanings, antibiotics, or oral surgery, depending on the severity of their condition. The best treatment option for you will depend on the extent of the disease and your overall level of dental health. We will work with you to determine which treatment best restores oral health.
We may recommend scaling and root planing for mild to moderate gum disease, also known as a “deep cleaning.” This non-surgical procedure uses special tools to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooth the surface of the roots to prevent bacteria buildup.
For more severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend periodontal surgery. Typically performed by a periodontist, these procedures include pocket reduction surgery and regeneration. Pocket reduction surgery helps eliminate the areas where bacteria can accumulate and promote the growth of new tissues. During pocket reduction, the tissue is reshaped to eliminate any pockets that may have formed around the roots of the teeth.
Regeneration is another option for patients whose teeth have been severely damaged by disease or decay. During this procedure, bone grafts are placed to rebuild your jawbone around your teeth. This creates a solid foundation to secure artificial teeth and restore your bite. Both treatments may require multiple surgeries over several months to restore your smile.
If you’ve noticed signs of gum disease, visit Fort Union Family Dental located at 8915 S 700 E Ste 103, Sandy, Utah 84070, or call (801) 562-2147 to schedule an appointment. We can help restore your oral health and prevent the disease from progressing.