Periodontitis, or gum disease, has early warning signs that can quickly snowball into serious dental problems. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease that is typically characterized by red, swollen irritated gums. It is typically caused by bacteria in the plaque that builds up around your gums. If gingivitis progresses, it can become periodontitis. Severe cases of gum disease are marked by receding gums and loose teeth.
An estimated 80% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal or gum disease. Luckily, if the condition is caught early, it is extremely treatable and even reversible. Dr. Gregory Hillyard and Dr. Alexandra Monroe can diagnose and treat gum disease at routine visits to their Media, PA dental office. They look for the early warning signs of developing gum disease during all routine visits.
Signs of Gum Disease
The very early stages of gum disease are difficult to notice. This is why our trained dental staff examines every patient for signs of gum disease at your regular dental appointments. As gum disease progresses, you may notice some of the following symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, call our office immediately to schedule an appointment.
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen, or painful gums
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Pain in the mouth
- Gums that are pulling away from the teeth, or your teeth appear longer than usual
- Teeth that feel loose
- Pus between your gums and teeth
Gum Disease Treatments
Remember to brush your teeth twice daily with an electric toothbrush, floss daily, and use a water pick. We will work with you to help you understand how to properly care for your teeth and determine the best home care regimen based on your needs.
In our office, our hygienists use the latest technologies to provide you with the most thorough cleaning possible. Our Cavitron is used to debride heavy calculus through sonic vibrations and flushing the area with warm water.
Ultrasonic scaling is ideal for scaling, leading to less time in the chair when you go for this procedure. It’s efficient enough to take care of even the most stubborn calculus. Dental anxiety prevents many adults from going to the dentist. Having quicker, more comfortable technology is essential.
The Cavitron is designed to be more comfortable for both patients and dental workers. Increasing comfort can also help with dental anxiety and ensuring patients are more willing to get treatment. It’s also ideal for the staff to be as comfortable as possible throughout their workday.
Baking soda spray is used for harder-to-reach areas and is particularly good for children in orthodontics brackets. We have multiple flavors of prophy paste to choose from and will give your teeth a thorough polishing once all calculus and plaque have been removed.
Scaling and Root Planing
This procedure is an intensive cleaning of all tooth surfaces for removing any plaque that has built up along tooth roots. Scaling and root planning is one of the best non-surgical ways to treat gum disease. Scaling is performed using a local anesthetic to numb the area for patient comfort.
It offers a deep clean to remove debris and inflammatory tissue below the gum line. Root planing smooths out the tooth root to create a clean surface for the gums to reattach to teeth.
Will I need X-rays for periodontal disease treatments?
Yes. X-rays are essential to diagnose periodontal disease. That’s because it allows the dentist to observe the state of the bone and periodontal ligament. This way the dentist can design the best treatment plan for your case.
Can I get periodontal disease treatment if I’m pregnant?
Yes. Pregnant women should get regular check-ups and periodontal treatments. There are non-invasive periodontal treatments such as scaling or root planing. It’s even safe to perform surgery after the first pregnancy trimester if the patient needs it.
Will one session of dental cleaning be enough to treat my periodontal disease?
It depends on the case. For a mild case of gingivitis, it might be enough with one dental cleaning appointment. However, for moderate to severe cases, it will take two or more sessions.
How can I clean my mouth after periodontal surgery?
Don’t brush or floss the area of the surgery for a week. After that, you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth gently. Avoid the gum area until your dentist suggests you to. Clean the rest of your teeth normally.
How long does it take the gums to heal?
It takes approximately one week for the gums to heal for non-invasive treatments such as scaling and root planing. However, the gums might take between 2 – 4 weeks to heal after a more invasive treatment such as surgery.
Can I drink alcohol or smoke after getting periodontal disease treatment?
No. You shouldn’t drink alcohol or smoke for at least 72 hours after any periodontal disease treatment, including non-invasive treatments such as root planing. The reason why is because both alcohol and tobacco can interfere with the healing process of the gums.