Maintaining healthy gums is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Most of our patients avoid developing serious gum disease by following a regular routine of brushing, flossing and getting regular professional cleanings. Sometimes, though, poor dental hygiene or unavoidable medical problems lead to serious gum disease. The staff at Dinka Dental offers gum treatments to prevent gum disease or to repair damage caused by more advanced cases.
The earliest sign of the onset of gum disease is gingivitis, which causes swelling and bleeding due to a bacterial infection caused by a buildup of plaque beneath the gum lines. Most plaque can be removed by gentle brushing and flossing, but any that is not removed hardens into tartar that can only be removed by professional cleaning.
If a simple cleaning is not adequate to remove tartar buildup below the gum line, we may recommend doing a procedure called scaling and root planing. In this treatment, we scrape away tartar deep below the gum line and polish any rough spots on the teeth that might harbor bacteria. This is done with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to serious periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar excrete toxins that damage the soft tissues around the teeth and eventually erode the bones holding the teeth in place. If left untreated, periodontal disease will lead to tooth loss and can contribute to larger systemic health issues including cardiovascular disease.
We have a number of surgical options for treating advanced periodontitis. Gum surgery can reduce the space between gums and teeth to reduce pockets that encourage bacterial growth. Lost gum tissue can be replaced with soft tissue grafts using tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth and damaged bone can be repaired with bone grafts.
Of course, we use local anesthetics during any of these gum treatments to minimize your discomfort during the procedure. We often prescribe antiseptic mouth rinses for use before the treatments and during recovery. For your peace of mind, we also have nitrous oxide, which you might have heard of as “laughing gas” available to help you relax during procedures.
Remember that preventive care is your best gum treatment. Call us for a complete consultation to plan the best way to restore and maintain your oral health.