Healthy gums are the foundation for healthy teeth. Unfortunately, the gums are often overlooked by many dentists and patients until there is a crisis. Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Monroe, North Carolina dentist Dr. Leonard Hess performs a periodontal screening to check for the signs and symptoms of gum disease at each visit. This is the best way to prevent problems from occurring and ensure the simplest and most conservative treatment.
It may be surprising to know that 75% of American adults have some form of gum disease. Not only is gum disease a serious dental concern, but the condition has been strongly linked to other medical issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
Prevention is the best way to fight gum disease. Regular at-home care and routine visits to the dentist can keep plaque from building up around the teeth and gum line. Gum disease is considered a “silent disease” and most patients experience no pain or obvious symptoms until advanced stages of the disease.
About Gum Disease
Gum disease is considered a “silent disease” and most patients experience no pain or obvious symptoms until advanced stages of the disease. Common signs of gum disease include:
- Sore, swollen or red gums
- Bleeding gums, often when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad Breath
- Mouth sores, pus between gums and teeth
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Gum Disease Treatment
Treatment for gum disease depends entirely on the individual and the stage of their condition.
If you have early signs of gum disease, known as gingivitis, your condition may be reversed through simple periodontal therapy:
Routine dental cleaning:
Routine dental cleanings are the best way to prevent gum disease. Our dental cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist who will gently and skillfully remove plaque and tartar from between the teeth and around the gum line
Antibacterial mouth rinse:
Dr. Hess may recommend an antibacterial mouth rinse to eliminate the bacteria in the mouth and control infection
Scaling and root planing:
These are deep cleaning procedures that remove plaque and tartar from deep pockets in the gum and smooth the surface of the tooth root
If periodontitis is present or gum disease is more advanced, treatment does become more intensive and in extreme cases, surgery may be needed. 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 dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures.
A gum lift is a cosmetic gum procedure that improves the appearance of the smile by exposing more tooth structure. Patients who have a gum lift often have what is called a “gummy smile” where there is significant gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Using laser dentistry technology, Dr. Hess carefully removes gum tissue and contours the gum line for a more beautiful looking smile.
A gum lift can make a dramatic improvement in a patient’s smile. The gum lift procedure is relatively quick and painless, cosmetic gum surgery is typically complete in a single visit.