Red or inflamed gums are a cause for concern and should be looked at by a dentist as soon as possible.
Periodontal disease, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are inflammatory diseases of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth.
With the help of our periodontists at Sierra Dental, these conditions are treatable, the longer the condition goes untreated, the fewer options we have for treatment and the more likely it is that teeth may be lost.
Our mouths have their own microbial ecosystems. Bacteria and other germs are kept in a delicate balance by each other, by enzymes within our saliva, and by proper oral care at home (brushing, flossing, etc.).
Unfortunately, a standard dental cleaning every six months are not always enough to stave off a dental illness.
Periodontal disease happens due to an imbalance or abundance of bacteria on your teeth.
Plaque is formed between your teeth and gums every day. It can be removed by thorough brushing and flossing.
If not removed, plaque can lead to dental problems such as infections.
Professional cleanings by your dentist or dental hygienist will keep plaque under control in places that are harder to reach by a toothbrush or flossing.
As your body tries to fight the bacteria, your immune system release substances that cause inflammation and destruction of the bone and gum tissue around the teeth.
As it progresses, you may experience swelling, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease), and loosening of the teeth, a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).
What Are The Signs Of Periodontal Disease?
If gum disease (gingivitis) is not treated quickly or properly, periodontitis can develop in the gums.
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are important to mitigate plaque buildup.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen, sore or bleeding gums, loose teeth due to your gums receding, and bad breath.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, we strongly suggest you visit a dentist as soon as possible.
Preventative Dental Hygiene
The best way to prevent gum disease is regular, thorough brushing and flossing.
Although plaque buildup is the main cause of periodontal diseases, there are other factors that can attribute to the likelihood of gum disease, including medications, diet, oral habits, and other diseases.
Smoking increases the risk and severity of periodontal disease. The more frequent and longer you smoke, the higher the risk. This is because smokers can collect more plaque and create deeper periodontal pockets once gum diseases have developed. Quitting smoking can help slow down the progression of periodontal disease. It is likely that vaping also contributes to periodontal disease.
Misaligned teeth, braces or bridges that make it more difficult to brush or floss your teeth can increase your chances of developing gum disease. It is important to talk to your Dentist, or Registered Dental Hygienist or Periodontist for instructions on how to clean your teeth properly. In certain circumstances, we can provide you with special tools if needed.
Certain habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth do not cause periodontal disease but they can make it worse if it’s already present. If your efforts to stop these habits do not work, a custom guard can be made to help reduce uneven pressure on your teeth.
Some health diseases can make you more prone to developing periodontal diseases. This includes diabetes, leukemia, inflammatory bowel disease HIV infection, and more.
Poor nutrition can have a major negative impact on your overall health, including dental health. Paying attention to your diet can help you maintain good health as well as good oral health.
Certain medications can cause plaque to form more easily in your mouth or reduce your body’s ability to control bacteria. Check with your family doctor or your dentist when you’ve been prescribed a new medication.
It is also important to note that gum disease involves genetic factors, and can be much more difficult to control in some individuals.
Furthermore, gum disease in pregnant women has been linked with infants being born sooner, and at a lower weight.
When it comes to dental health, regular visits to a dental professional are essential.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis differ from case to case.
At Sierra Dental, our dentists will work with you to provide accurate, in-depth information on your condition, and a treatment plan that fits your needs.
Gum Disease Treatment
The first step your dentist will take is to examine the health of your gums.
This involves taking measurements between the teeth and gums to evaluate for the presence of disease.
Multiple x-rays might be required to investigate further and see how much bone has been lost as a result of the disease.
We will proceed to remove any plaque and tartar in an effort to control the disease.
If your case is more serious, your dentist may refer you to see our periodontist.
In most cases of early periodontitis, the first step is scaling and root planing combined with proper oral care at home.
The process of scaling and root planing removes plaque and debris from the space between the gums and teeth.
These steps may be enough to control early periodontitis, but in more advanced cases, surgery or tooth removal may be required.
Once you’ve been treated for periodontal disease, we highly recommend booking regular periodontal maintenance visits (also called Supportive Periodontal Therapy) and annual examination with our periodontist to periodically assess the health of the gums and bone.
This will help you to maintain control of the disease and increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth for life.
No matter how advanced their gum disease, patients should know that they always have options.
EVENING & WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS
We understand that you are busy and don’t always have time to visit a dentist for a routine checkup in the middle of your Monday. That’s why we offer extended hours from 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday.
We are also open all throughout the weekend. That’s right, we’re open every day of the week.
DIRECT BILLING TO INSURANCE PLANS
To support our clients, we offer direct billing, predeterminations of treatments, and financial arrangements to all our patients to ensure smooth and easy payment transactions.
PAYMENT PLANS & FINANCING AVAILABLE
We understand that dental services can be an unexpected expense. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans and options to suit our patients’ needs. Speak with one of our dental assistants to learn more.
At Sierra Dental, you will never struggle to find parking. Our clinics offer convenient parking options that are free of charge to our patients. It’s one more way we work to put a smile on your face.