Hygiene Corner: I have gum disease; now what?

I have gum disease; now what?

Gum disease can be a scary diagnosis, especially with all the research linking it to other major health problems like heart disease and certain types of cancer. It’s our goal to help you manage this disease so you can avoid tooth loss, and reduce your risk for other health problems.

People with gum disease have different bacteria in their mouths than healthy patients. This bacteria aggressively attacks the supporting structures of the teeth, which can lead to teeth becoming loose or lost. If your hygienist diagnoses you with gum disease, she will recommend a specific regimen to stabilize the disease and help keep the bad bacteria from recolonizing. Keeping bacterial levels under control requires a little dedication, but it’s possible, and we’re here to help.

What treatment is recommended for gum disease?

Mild to Moderate Gum Disease:

  • Gum Therapy (AKA a Deep Cleaning): your hygienist will clean underneath the gumline to remove the bad bacteria and plaque that destroy bone. In certain areas you may need antibiotics placed under the gum to help resolve the infection. You will be numb for this procedure to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort.
  • Home Care: it’s your job to keep them squeaky clean now- we will give you a complimentary Sonicare toothbrush, floss, and discuss what type of rinse you’ll need to use at home.
  • Professional gum care visit every 90 days: despite your best efforts at home, the bad bacteria will multiply in just a few weeks following your deep cleaning. By 90 days, they are flourishing and will begin to cause destruction if they aren’t disturbed. Gum care cleanings every 90 days help re-establish an equilibrium between your body and the bad bacteria to keep the disease under control.

Moderate to Severe Gum Disease:

  • All of the above
  • + Surgical treatment: If the combined efforts of a deep cleaning, good home habits, and gum care visits every 90 days, are not enough to stabilize the condition, you may need to see Dr. Gardner, our board certified periodontist. She will evaluate your gums and bones and may recommend surgery. Some surgeries try to regrow bone that was destroyed, other surgeries can reshape the gums, or she may recommend laser surgery to create an environment to regrow the tissues (gum, bone, ligament) that are lost due to gum disease.

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This post should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately licensed health care provider. Information provided here is for informational purposes only. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment.

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