Treatment Options for Gum Disease

By Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S.
June 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gum Disease  

Gum Disease TreatmentYour gums have started bleeding when you brush your teeth. Should you worry? Bleeding gums often indicate an early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. It can develop into destructive periodontitis, a major cause of tooth loss in the US. Your family dentist in Milford, CT, Dr. Bruce Schechter, offers treatment options for gum disease so you and your mouth enjoy long-lasting health.

Symptoms of gum disease

Some symptoms of this common malady are obvious, and some are more hidden and require the expert eye of your family dentist in Milford. That's why Dr. Schechter emphasizes six-month cleanings and check-ups to:

  1. Remove toxic plaque and hard tartar which contain the causative agent of gum disease, strep bacteria
  2. Spot the signs of gum disease early while it is easier to treat
  3. Formulate a care plan as necessary
Upon inspection of your gums, Dr. Schechter watches for these troublesome signs:
  • Bad breath
  • Red, puffy gums
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Gum recession
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Mobile teeth
  • Deep gum pockets
Gum pockets, the spaces between tooth roots and gum tissue, are easily and painlessly measured with a small, metal probe. Pockets deeper than three millimeters are indicative of gum disease.

How does it develop?

Gum disease frequently happens because people neglect daily brushing and flossing and don't see their dentist every six months (or as recommended) for cleanings and examinations. Tartar accumulates, leading to infection and recession.

Other contributing factors are:
  • Age (70 percent of people over 65 have some form of periodontitis, says the American Academy of Periodontology)
  • Smoking (the heat from cigarettes actually burns gum tissue)
  • Poor overall health and nutrition
  • Stress
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Heredity (some families seem more prone than others)
Treating gum disease

Sometimes treating gum disease is as simple as a thorough cleaning at Dr. Schechter's office. This routine scaling, to remove plaque and tartar, combined with disciplined oral hygiene habits at home, allow gums to heal quickly.

However, if gum disease progresses, more advanced techniques become necessary. They can include:
  • Deep cleaning and root planing, using hand scalers and ultrasonic tools to remove hard deposits below the gum line
  • Installation of antibiotics to heal infection
  • Gum grafting, using donor tissue or the patient's own gums, to cover exposed roots
If you have gum disease, Dr. Schechter will discuss your treatment options with you. You'll need routine periodontal maintenance--cleanings and charting of any gum pockets--to ensure healing and prevent escalation of the problem.

Find out more

If you are concerned about your gum health, don't hesitate to call Dr. Schechter's office in Milford, CT, for a consultation right away. Healthy teeth and gums both ensure a great smile. Phone (203) 878-1787.