At Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry, our priority is protecting your health, and that goes much further than just taking care of your teeth. We also look after your gums because they play an important role in your dental health as well as your overall wellness. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, has been connected to serious health concerns like diabetes and heart disease. The good news is that gum disease is preventable and treatable, and we can create a personalized plan to help you avoid or get rid of it.
Signs of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease arises whenever plaque and tartar isn’t properly cleaned away from teeth and is left to irritate or infect the gums. Some of the common signs of gum disease include red or swollen gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and loose teeth. If you notice any of these, we recommend making an appointment at one of our dental office so we can begin any necessary treatment as soon as possible.
Gum Disease Treatments
The initial stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis, which can be reversed with teeth cleanings at the dentist and regular brushing and flossing. If gingivitis isn’t treated, it progresses to the more severe form of the disease known as periodontitis. This stage is when there is concern for serious damage to the soft tissue around your teeth and the possibility of infection or tooth loss.
Depending on which stage of gum disease that you have, we offer different types of periodontal therapy. Our first step in treating gum disease is having a consultation and performing an exam so we can best address your unique needs. Periodontal disease treatments include:
Professional Dental Cleaning
During a professional dental cleaning, we remove any plaque and tartar around your gum line. Tartar is the hardened form of plaque, and it can only be removed by a dental professional. It’s recommended that you come in for professional teeth cleanings twice a year, but if you have, or are at risk for, gum disease, then you may require additional cleanings.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is also referred to as a deep cleaning. With this type of cleaning, we scrape away plaque and tartar that’s not just near the gums, but under the gum line as well. Then, we smooth out any rough spots on tooth roots. To ensure your comfort during this process, we use local anesthetic.
Gum Graft Surgery
We may recommend a gum graft if you have a severe case of periodontal disease and nonsurgical treatments are not enough to restore your gum’s health. This procedure involves taking tissue from the root of the mouth and attaching it to the gum line so that healthy gum tissue can develop in its place and cover any exposed roots.