What is the Treatment for Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s an inflammatory condition that weakens the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth, and if left untreated, it can cause tooth loss and other serious oral health problems.
Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available for gum disease, ranging from non-invasive options like improved oral hygiene to more advanced treatments like surgery. In this blog, the team at The Point Dental will explore the various treatment options available for gum disease and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your oral health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones that support the teeth. It is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth and gum line, which can lead to inflammation and infection. Gum disease typically starts with mild symptoms such as swollen, red, and bleeding gums, but if left untreated, it can progress to more severe stages where the gums recede, bone loss occurs, and teeth become loose.
Gum disease is a prevalent condition and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. It can also contribute to other health problems, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Good oral hygiene practices, regular dental checkups, and prompt treatment of early signs of gum disease are important for maintaining good oral and overall health.
Types of Gum Disease
There are two common types of gum disease. They are both related and will lead to further dental issues if not treated.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease which causes gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. Usually, there is little to no noticeable pain or discomfort in its early stages. However, it can lead to more extensive issues if not treated. It’s best to see a dental hygienist if you notice any of these symptoms.
There is a common and more extensive form of gum disease called periodontitis and is often caused by untreated gingivitis. Over time, plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, producing toxins and bacteria. This creates inflamed gum tissue, where the bone that supports the teeth is severely weakened. Gums separate from the teeth, causing infections and tooth loss if the issue is not treated correctly.
What is the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?
The best treatment for gum disease depends on the severity and stage of the condition. Mild cases of gum disease, such as gingivitis, can often be treated with improved oral hygiene habits. However, if gum disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, such as periodontitis, more advanced treatments may be necessary.
Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatments
Improved Oral Hygiene
If you’re experiencing swollen or bleeding gums, chances are you have gingivitis. This gum disease occurs because of a build-up of plaque. The best way to treat it is through improved oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and regular dental cleaning. Depending on your situation, you may need regular cleaning sessions with your dentist.
Scaling & Root Planing
To treat gum disease, scaling and root planing may be required to reach deep beneath your gum line and remove plaque and tartar on the root’s surface. This process also includes smoothing any rough spots on your roots – preventing bacteria from reattaching to your teeth.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
Dentists will use a small laser to remove diseased tissue and kill bacteria. This therapy is a popular alternative to traditional gum therapy as it is non-invasive and doesn’t require any cuts or incisions.
Surgical Gum Disease Treatments
Incisions will be created along your gum line so that your dentist can temporarily move your gums away from your teeth. This will make the roots underneath visible and allow your dentist to remove any tartar build-up. Your dentist may even reshape areas of damaged bone for preventative reasons. Once done, your gums will be repositioned and will require stitches to secure them into place.
Bone & Gum Grafting
A common way of treating gum disease is through bone and gum grafting. This means using your own, donated or synthetic bone or tissue to rebuild areas that have been weakened or damaged. A bone graft will be used as a scaffolding that holds space until a new bone is regenerated. In contrast, a gum graft is when tissue is placed in the areas where your gums have receded, and it is stitched into place.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
This is one of the most extensive surgical treatments. Gum disease causes gaps between your tooth’s root and bone. Therefore, your dentist will place a membrane in the damaged area to keep your gum from growing where the bone should be. This allows your body to regenerate bone around the tooth.
How Long Does Gum Disease Treatment Take?
For mild cases, such as gingivitis, you will find that symptoms will subside after two weeks if you carefully follow your dentist’s instructions on how to properly care for your teeth. Otherwise, if you’re suffering from periodontitis and develop gum disease that is more extensive, you will need ongoing treatment.
It’s important to note that you cannot cure gum disease and that it can only be managed with treatments focusing on prevention and management. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco use, and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings can help prevent gum disease from developing in the first place.
Is Gum Treatment Painful?
While you may experience some discomfort from periodontal treatment, especially if you’re undergoing a surgical procedure, the pain is often much less than what patients often fear. Usually, the high fear factor is one of the main reasons patients tend to ignore symptoms of gingivitis. However, doing so can cause severe gum disease issues down the track.
Read our blog on overcoming dental fear to ensure you’re getting the correct dental treatment when necessary.
How Much Does Laser Gum Treatment Cost?
On average, you can expect to pay around $500-$600 for each quadrant when undergoing laser gum treatment for periodontal disease. However, the final price will depend on various factors, including your overall oral health and the severity of gum disease. At The Point Dental, we offer payment options to help make gum disease treatment more affordable.
Find The Ideal Treatment for Gum Disease
Get in touch with our team at The Point dental today for more information regarding gum disease treatments and general dentistry services. We’ll help transform your smile and improve overall dental hygiene.