Do your gums regularly bleed when brushing? Have you noticed changes in the shape or color of your gums, and the fit of your bite?
Bleeding gums can be a sign of something much more serious than just poor dental hygiene. It could be an indicator of gum disease! Bacteria buildup in the mouth causes gum disease and can lead to tooth loss without treatment. If you notice any changes in the shape or color of your gums, or if your bite has changed, it’s important to get checked out by a dentist as soon as possible. Regular brushing with a soft-bristled brush and using a fluoride toothpaste are key to preventing gum disease and keeping your smile healthy.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Factors that contribute to periodontal disease include smoking or chewing tobacco, certain medications, defective fillings, crooked teeth, systemic disease, improper home care, and irregular dental cleanings.
Because gum disease is usually not painful, most patients may not know they have it until it is too late. Warning signs of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed during tooth brushing and/or flossing
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating; any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures.
To ensure that your gum disease doesn’t progress from a mild to a more advanced stage, we apply Arestin® antibiotic therapy and irrigation (flushing) to kill and eliminate any residual bacteria left after a routine dental cleaning. After the cleaning, our periodontist or dental hygienist will examine your mouth for gum disease. We will recommend the appropriate treatment options after we determine if you need further treatments.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause pain and discomfort, as well as long-term damage to your teeth and gums. That’s why it is key to understand the stages of gum disease, so you can take steps to prevent it or treat it early. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Each stage has its own symptoms and treatments, so it’s important to be aware of them in order to keep your oral health in check.
The first stage is Gingivitis, which is the mild form of this disease. Redness, swelling, bleeding, and gums that are swollen and tender characterize this stage. In this stage, the bacteria in your mouth below the gum line feed on proteins in plaque to create acids that break down the proteins of gum tissue. This breakdown of gum tissue results in bleeding. Gingivitis is easily reversible with regular flossing and routine professional dental cleanings.
The second stage is Periodontitis, which is a more serious, destructive form of gum disease. During this stage, you will notice the recession of gums and supporting bone away from the teeth. Periodontitis occurs when there is an increased amount of bacteria called spirochetes (or Treponema denticola) that causes swelling around your teeth in areas where gingiva has been destroyed or worn away. This condition may cause a bad taste in your mouth, excessive bleeding or pain when eating or drinking.
Advanced Periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease that can cause irreparable damage to your teeth and gums. Bacteria that accumulates in the pockets between the teeth and gums leads to inflammation, infection, and ultimately tooth loss. Fortunately, with proper dental care and regular dental visits, your dentist can help you manage Advanced Periodontitis effectively.
Gum Disease Treatment at Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry
We offer complete gum disease treatments for patients dealing with the various stages of gum disease. Dr. Lazer and Dr. Doroshenko create individual treatment plans for each patient because each patient is unique. Dr. Lazer offers several gum disease treatment options for your specific symptoms. For patients with very minor bleeding gums issues, we may prescribe an antibacterial rinse. Antibacterial rinses help kill excess bacteria that causes bleeding gums.
Scaling and Root Planing
Patients with early signs of gum disease or periodontitis may benefit from an intensive dental cleaning, or Scaling and Root Planing. During this procedure, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gums using special tools, as well as smooth out any rough areas on the roots of teeth. This procedure helps to reduce gum inflammation, improve oral hygiene, and prevent further damage to your teeth.
Laser Dentistry can Help Patients with Advanced Periodontitis
Laser dentistry is an effective and painless way to treat advanced periodontitis. It uses laser technology to remove bacteria and damaged tissue from the gums, allowing them to heal and become healthy again. This procedure can help patients with advanced periodontitis in a number of ways, from reducing inflammation and pain to preventing further damage.
Laser dentistry can also reduce the amount of time it takes for a patient to recover from periodontal surgery. By utilizing laser technology, dentists are able to provide their patients with a more comfortable experience during treatment, as well as faster healing times.
Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry also utilizes Bident Tissue Recontouring. Bident is a bipolar surgical device. This tool allows Dr. Lazer to provide quick and safe periodontal treatment services. We can also preform common soft tissue treatments such as frenectomies, gingivectomy, gingivoplasty, and crown lengthening.
Replace Lost Teeth Due To Periodontal Disease
If you have missing teeth or are about to lose teeth as a result of gum disease, there are a number of replacement options including affordable dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures.
Treating periodontal disease in the earliest stage may minimize your risk of developing extensive damage to the teeth, gums, and bone structure. If you’re searching for a dentist that treats gum disease in Owings Mills and Baltimore, MD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ed Lazer. He offers many gum disease treatments to help you heal and prevent all stages of periodontal disease. Call us at (410) 697-6290 or request a consultation online.