How to Treat Advanced Gum Disease

About half of Americans over age 30 have advanced gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When gum disease is in its early stages it is called gingivitis, which can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene.

However, untreated gum disease can quickly develop into periodontitis (also called periodontal disease). While periodontal disease is irreversible, your dentist will be able to offer periodontal disease treatment during your next teeth cleaning so you can avoid receding gums and tooth loss.

In this blog post, our Rockford dentist at Scott Strickland DDS will give you our tips for how to maintain a healthy smile in spite of periodontal disease. For more information, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your family dentist.

Recognize the Symptoms of Gum Disease

The soon you recognize the signs of gum disease, the sooner you can seek treatment and prevent further damage to your smile. Your dentist will also be able to detect the signs of gum disease during your next dental exam.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth

Keep in mind that these are just some of the symptoms of gum disease. Since some patients never experience symptoms until it’s too late, we recommend keeping up on your dentist appointments.

Keep Up on Oral Hygiene

After being diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is important you take better care of your teeth and gums. This means brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once daily and using mouth rinse. During your dentist appointment, the dentist or dental hygienist will spend time making sure you understand how to brush and floss your teeth properly.

Your dentist may also recommend scheduling dental appointments more frequently than just twice a year, especially if you have an aggressive type of periodontitis.

Ask About Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical treatment option for patients with periodontitis. If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist will be able to do scaling and root planing during your next teeth cleaning. While it’s normal for there to be gum pockets around your teeth, people with periodontitis have especially deep pockets that get filled with dental plaque. During your appointment, your dentist will use a special tool to remove plaque above and below the gum line and smooth out tooth roots so gums can reattach to teeth.

Consider Surgical Procedures for Severe Periodontitis

If scaling and root planing isn’t enough to slow the progression of periodontitis, your dentist may recommend a surgical procedure like pocket reduction, gum grafts, or even bone grafts. If necessary, your dentist will refer you to the appropriate specialist so you can get the dental treatment you need.

The Rockford family dentists at Scott Strickland DDS always strive to make sure patients understand their treatment options after being diagnosed with gum disease. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a professional teeth cleaning or dental exam, call our dentist in Rockford, MI at (616) 866-1017.