Bacteria and plaque cause cavities, but that's not their most sinister effect on oral health. The buildup of plaque at the gum line will cause gum inflammation, which can progress to full-on gum disease. Dr. Lee will provide exhaustive periodontal treatment to treat existing disease and help prevent its return. By identifying signs of disease as early as possible, we will be able to take swift steps toward healing your gums.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
While the trigger for gum infection is usually poor oral hygiene, other factors can contribute to periodontal problems. Diabetes, dry mouth, tobacco use, and certain medications can cause gums to be more sensitive to plaque and more likely to become inflamed. Whether you are at a higher risk for periodontal disease or not, it's key that you watch for signs of gum disease. Some of the most common include:
- Red or purple gums
- Swollen, shiny gums
- Tender teeth and gums
- Sudden bad breath
- Gums pulling away from teeth
Treating Your Gum Disease
Periodontal disease can be persistent. We will take a multi-pronged approach to address it from every side. These steps typically include:
- Scaling - Scaling is the physical removal of plaque and bacteria from tooth surfaces. While this is performed at every dental exam, it's more thorough during periodontal treatment.
- Root planing - Planing removes plaque from below the gumline and from periodontal pockets. We will also reshape the tooth roots to make them less likely to welcome bacterial growth in the future.
- Antibiotics - We use both Arestin and ATRIDOX to place antibiotics at the gum line. Both medications release gradual doses of medication to continue treating periodontal disease.
- Ongoing Monitoring - Once the periodontal disease has struck, it is much more likely to return. We will schedule future exams at an interval that allows us to carefully monitor your gums.
Think your gums may be suffering? Contact us right away.