Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious progressive condition affecting millions of people worldwide. The devastating gum infection is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults 35 and over. At Santa Teresa Dental, we do everything we can to keep your gums healthy and sound. You can always count on our team for cutting-edge care and unmatched service.
What Is Gum Disease and What Are Its Causes?
Gum disease is an inflammation and infection of the tissues and bone surrounding and supporting your teeth. It is often painless in its early stage, known as gingivitis, so you may not even know you have it. The leading cause of gum disease is plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gum line, which triggers an inflammatory response in the gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth and form spaces known as periodontal pockets.
As the condition progresses, the periodontal pockets deepen, trapping plaque, bacteria, and debris below the gumline. That provides an ideal environment for harmful oral bacteria to flourish. Advanced gum disease, a condition known as periodontitis, often leads to damage and deterioration of the tissues and bones supporting your teeth and holding them in place, gradually leading to bone loss, loose teeth, and tooth loss.
Aside from plaque accumulation, risk factors for gum disease include poor oral hygiene practices, the natural aging process, smoking, tobacco use in any form, genetics, tooth misalignment, certain medications, some medical conditions, and hormonal changes such as those that occur during pregnancy.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
The first signs of gum disease are red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. As the condition progresses, patients report persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, longer-looking teeth due to gum recession, and loose teeth. You may notice that your teeth fit together differently when you bite down or that your partial dentures don’t fit the way they did.
If you see any signs of gum disease, make sure to contact Santa Teresa Dental to schedule an appointment. The sooner your condition is treated, the better the outcomes and the more likely we can preserve your natural teeth.
Can Gum Disease be Cured?
Gum disease can be reversible and curable when addressed in the early stage, called gingivitis. However, once it progresses, it cannot be cured. The good news is that proper care and soft tissue management can keep the condition from progressing and prevent its devastating impacts on your oral health. That includes maintaining meticulous home oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings at intervals recommended by your trusted team at Santa Teresa Dental, usually every three to four months.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Dr. Huang and his team at Santa Teresa Dental are dedicated to providing the highest level of care to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. We offer a non-surgical soft tissue management plan to treat and manage early to moderate gum disease. We aim to restore your gum tissues to a healthy state and prevent the need for invasive surgery.
Here’s a look at our gum disease treatment protocols:
- Gingivitis: Treatment typically requires two visits to our office. We will start with laser therapy to eliminate the infection and provide you with home care instructions. After 4-6 weeks, we will reevaluate your condition to determine whether you require further treatment.
- Early and Moderate Periodontitis: Treatment typically requires three appointments. The first two visits include debridement and laser therapy. During your final appointment, we will evaluate your gum tissues and home care efforts and may recommend a topical antibiotic to control the infection.
- Advanced Periodontitis: This advanced stage of the disease usually involves severe bone deterioration, characterized by loose teeth and even tooth loss. We may refer you to a periodontist, a dental professional specializing in treating severe periodontal disease.
What Happens After Gum Disease Treatment?
After treatment, we typically recommend dental hygiene appointments every three to four months. During your visits, we will clean your teeth, measure the depth of your periodontal pockets, evaluate your gum health, and intervene when necessary. Our goal is to ensure the condition does not progress to keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Gum Disease Treatment Near Me
Visit Santa Teresa Dental in Morgan Hill, CA, to learn more about gum disease prevention, management, and treatment. Dr. Huang and his team are committed to helping you maintain a healthy smile for life. Call us at 408-782-6568 to schedule your appointment, or request one online today!