Gum Problems and Gum Disease

What About Gum Disease?

David Shannon, DDS will help you watch for the signs of gum disease and other potential problems.

If you haven’t been going to the dentist regularly or flossing just isn’t your thing, there is a chance you have gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, there are three main types of gum diseases:

  • Early gum disease-gingivitis
  • Moderate gum disease – periodontitis
  • Advanced gum disease – advanced periodontitis

Gingivitis

Bacterial buildup in the gum because brushing and flossing and regular check ups with cleanings is not what you want to do for yourself. It can be easily remedied by proper compliance. Sometimes an additional cleaning visit might be necessary to catch up for lost time.  Bad breath or halitosis may be the reason for detection. Halitosis comes from bacteria buildup. Sometimes this build up can come from a bad filling or crown in the mouth and this can be seen during a comprehensive examination or x rays.

Periodontitis

If the gingivitis is ignored it moves to the next step of bone loss, and more gingival inflammation along with bleeding on flossing or brushing. This scares the person and they keep away from good dental hygiene at home. If diagnosed, more than a cleaning is needed to get back to basics.

  • Scaling of the roots are needed to allow gums to heal
  • Local anesthesia is needed due to sensitive nature of the roots
  • Irrigation of pockets below gum. This is a bacteriostatic medicated solution
  • Antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics are placed beside the tooth to help keep bacteria out
  • Use of laser treatment to shrink unhealthy inflamed gums
  • Follow up cleanings done every three or four months for a year minimum to allow gums to heal

Advanced periodontitis

This condition is even more involved than just scaling the roots of the teeth. Here we usually see abcesses of the gums with bacteria in control of the mouth. Food can taste metallic, chewing can be painful and other health issues may be involved.  Treatment of this condition is very individual and may include the loss of one or more teeth.

  • Scaling of roots
  • Irrigation of pockets
  • Topical antibiotic therapy
  •  Evaluation of laser removal of unhealthy tissues
  • Smoothing of unhealthy bone between teeth

Gum recession

Sometimes the gums pull down or recede from where they should be and expose root. This root can be very sensitive or it can erode because it is more susceptible to the acids in the mouth. There are very specialized procedures that can be performed to recover the roots.