Gum disease affects many people without them even knowing it, and it can be detrimental to your oral and overall health. Thankfully, Dr. Emilia G. Herman offers periodontal therapy in Denver to keep her patients healthy. While preventing gum disease is the best way to handle it, Dr. Herman offers various treatments for the multiple stages of this disease. Read on to learn more about gum disease, the symptoms to look out for, and what we can do to help.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of your gums that is typically caused by poor oral hygiene. When you don’t brush and floss, bacteria and plaque will build up on your gumline. When the plaque hardens into tartar, it can create a separation between your gums and your teeth. This can create some of these common symptoms:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Tender or swollen gums
- Red or puffy gums
- Teeth that appear longer
- Persistent bad breath
- Change in bite
WHY IS GUM DISEASE SO SERIOUS?
Up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has some form of gum disease. Characterized by a persistent bacterial infection surrounding one tooth or several teeth, gum disease causes little discomfort and produces few obvious symptoms in the early stages. When periodontal disease is not treated, it can spread and compromise gums, bones, and eventually lead to tooth loss. Additionally, research has linked gum disease to higher risks of heart-related issues, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, pregnancy complications, and even Alzheimer’s. That’s why we encourage all of our patients to maintain a healthy brushing and flossing routine in combination with regular visits to our office.
UNDERSTANDING PERIODONTAL THERAPY
Early on, when redness, swelling, and bleeding are the only symptoms, we can treat and help you reverse gum disease non-surgically. Regular checkups greatly increase your potential for early detection and conservative treatment. Generally, treatment will include careful, individualized instruction regarding the most effective means of brushing and flossing at home. This strategy is sometimes accompanied by professional scaling or careful scraping of all affected tooth surfaces, gum pocket irrigation, and even local antibiotic placement in areas of significant irritation.
CHARTING AND DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES
During your routine dental checkups, Dr. Herman will measure the pockets in between your gums and teeth. Your dentist in Denver will take these measurements and compare them to your numbers from a previous appointment. This is a great way to track the health of your gums. If we notice that the depth of your pockets is starting to increase, we may recommend scaling and root planning.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
Scaling and root planning, also known as deep cleaning, is a way for Dr. Herman to treat gum disease and decrease its chances of happening in the future. First, she will scale your teeth, cleaning away plaque and tartar that has formed above, on, and underneath your gumline. After, she will perform the root planing portion, where she will reach below your gum line to smooth out your tooth roots, making it harder for plaque and bacteria to collect in the future.