Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can cause the gum tissue and gum line to become inflamed and recede. It is caused by poor oral hygiene, such as inadequate brushing and flossing, and can also be caused by certain illnesses, such as diabetes or smoking. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious issues such as loose teeth, tooth loss, and bone deterioration.
If you think you may have symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, please contact a professional dentist at Elite Dental located in San Antonio, Pleasanton, and New Braunfels. Our experienced dentists can provide treatment options to help you get your oral health back on track. We offer a variety of services which include periodontal exams and treatment, scaling and root planing, and dental implant placement. We also provide preventive care to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Effective Periodontal Disease Treatment
Plaque is a mixture of bacteria, saliva, and sugar that naturally forms on the tooth surface after eating and drinking. Brushing and flossing can help remove plaque if done regularly; however, if left alone plaque can solidify into calculus. Calculus can also form beneath the gum line and irritate the gum tissue, causing periodontal diseases.
Calculus can’t be removed by simply brushing or flossing, and requires a deep cleaning with a special instrument called a hand scaler or ultrasonic scaler. Our skilled hygienists give very thorough teeth cleanings using the ultrasonic scaler for faster and easier removal of deep stains.
Dr. Mohan and Dr. Veena make an effort to treat periodontal disease (gum disease) by seeing the patient every three months and treating them until all signs of gum disease are completely gone. Deep cleaning is the first part of our gum disease treatment that our highly trained and experienced hygienists use to remove stains and calculus deposits.
Periodontal (Gum Disease) Exam
During a thorough gum disease exam, we will do charting on your gums, which measures the “gum pocket,” the space between the gums and the teeth. The larger the depression or gap in the gum pocket, the more susceptible your gums are to periodontal disease.
We will measure the amount of attachment loss, which is the amount of bone and tissue that has been lost from around each tooth. This is important because it can help us determine if periodontal disease has affected the bone structure around your teeth. In addition, we will also look for any signs of infection, as well as check for any loose teeth or other abnormalities. Finally, we will take digital X-rays to get a better look at the roots of your teeth and the supporting bone structure. All of these elements help us to determine the best treatment plan for you to keep your gums healthy.
The ultrasonic scaler for maximum comfort and effectiveness
Our hygienist conducts gentle teeth cleanings with an ultrasonic scaler. This device is used to effectively remove heavy stains, plaque, and tartar that can’t be removed by usual brushing techniques. The ultrasonic scaler cleans the tooth surface by using high-frequency vibrations to break down the buildup. Ultrasonic scaling is also used to treat patients who have an existing case of severe gum disease.
Ultrasonic scaling is a safe and comfortable procedure that can be used to help maintain healthy teeth and gums. It is important to note that this type of scaling is not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. It is still important to practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, in order to keep teeth and gums healthy and free from plaque and tartar. Regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings are also important for maintaining overall oral health. Our hygienist can provide guidance to ensure that patients are taking the proper steps to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Eliminating the bacteria
To completely eliminate the bacteria from your gum pockets, we apply an antibiotic treatment. We use Zithromax, an effective brand currently used and recommended by periodontists for effectively neutralizing bacteria in your gum pockets.
The antibiotic treatment usually lasts for two weeks, and during that time, you will need to make sure you take the medication as prescribed. During this time, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth twice a day and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. You should also avoid sugary and acidic foods, as these can cause tooth decay. Additionally, you should avoid smoking, as this can slow down the healing process. After your antibiotic treatment is complete, we will follow up with a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums to ensure that your gum pockets are completely clear of bacteria.
We are not only here to treat your gum disease but to educate you on the ways you can improve your gum health. We have educational videos that you can watch and our hygienist will instruct you on proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Our hygienist will explain what gum disease is and use an intraoral camera to give you an inside look at your mouth to see the condition of your teeth and gums. This “video tour” of your mouth is an essential aspect of identifying target areas for cleaning. We also have models, pictures, and diagrams to give you more details on certain procedures and dental terms if needed.
Treating severe Gum Disease
We can also do a root planing procedure in more serious cases, which cleans the surface of the tooth root below the gums to help the gum pockets regenerate and tighten around the teeth, preventing future calculus from easily developing in the gums.
Our dentists Dr. Mohan and Dr. Veena have the advanced training and experience to treat cases of severe gum disease. The most effective method for combating a difficult case is full-mouth periodontal surgery and bone grafting. However, Dr. Mohan and Dr. Veena can reduce the needed surgery a substantial amount by using a combination of scaling and root planing and periodontal maintenance such as antibiotic treatment and cleanings.
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
Red, swollen, tender gums
Persistent bad breath
Loose or separated teeth
Pus between teeth and gums
Changes to the way your teeth fit together when biting.
How can I get rid of gum disease permanently?
Unfortunately, gum disease cannot be completely cured or eliminated permanently. However, it can be managed and controlled with proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Brushing and flossing twice a day to remove plaque and tartar buildup is the best way to prevent and control gum disease. Additionally, regular dental cleanings and professional fluoride treatments can help reduce the risk of gum disease.