Gum Disease and Gingivitis Treatment at Goldstein Dental Group in Novi Michigan
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal (gum) disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults between the ages of 20-64. Gingivitis is the most common of the gum diseases. Gum disease and gingivitis are caused by bacteria in the mouth that, along with food particles and mucus, form a colorless, sticky film on teeth called plaque. Regular brushing and flossing helps to remove plaque. But the plaque that is not removed hardens into a tough coating called tartar or calculus. Once tartar develops, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist.
Other factors that contribute to gum disease include:
- Changes in hormone levels in females
- prescription medications
- Diabetes and other diseases
- Genetic factors
If tartar and plaque are not removed from the teeth by regular cleaning, gingivitis can develop, causing red and swollen gums that tend to bleed easily. Untreated gingivitis often develops into the more serious condition of periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets where bacteria can thrive. Toxins from bacteria and the body’s natural immune response to infections break down the connective tissue and bone structure that keep the teeth in place, eventually leading to loose teeth that have to be removed.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease are:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red, swollen and bleeding gums
- Pain while chewing
- Loose and/or sensitive teeth
- Noticeably receding gums
Gum Disease and Gingivitis Treatment
When you visit Goldstein Dental Group for a cleaning and checkup, the doctors and dental hygienists will examine your gum tissue and measure the depth of any pockets present, and evaluate the health of the tissues and bone supporting your teeth. Pocket depths of more than 4mm, and the presence of redness, swelling, or bleeding are indications that you may need periodontal therapy.
This procedure, called root scaling and planing, removes all of the built-up plaque and tartar from the root surfaces of your teeth with specialized hand-held instruments, shrinking the size of the pockets and reducing infection to a manageable level. Although most people don’t find the procedure particularly uncomfortable, discomfort can be reduced by the application of local or topical anesthesia if you prefer.
Your dentist will also instruct you in the proper methods of home care to maintain your healthy gums and teeth. After periodontal therapy, you will typically need to see your dentist every 3-4 months for cleaning and checkups.
Call 248.374.2273 to schedule an evaluation.