Posts for tag: periodontal disease
The good news is that Americans are keeping more and more of their natural teeth longer than ever before. Just a generation ago, moderate to complete tooth loss after the age of 65 was fairly common and expected. But awareness about the benefits of preventive dental care and improvements in dental treatments and technology have dramatically improved oral health outcomes for older Americans. Unfortunately, periodontal (gum) disease is still a significant oral health problem in the United States. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), over 60 million Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, which ranges from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis). Dr. Neil Blavin, a dentist at Briar Pointe Dentistry in Novi, MI, offers a number of treatment options for complications from gum disease, which range from gum inflammation and bleeding to tooth loss.
Periodontal Disease Diagnosis and Treatment in Novi, MI
The best way to prevent gum disease and the resulting complications is to practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing after meals and flossing at least once a day. Limiting sugary foods and drinks, and not smoking are also an important part of a healthy oral health routine. Additionally, the ADA recommends going to the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional dental cleaning.
Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
The most common sign of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease is bleeding and inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can become worse and lead to other symptoms, including:
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Swollen and tender gums
- Pus around the tooth/gums
- Loose teeth
- Pockets between the teeth/gums
- Bite/alignment issues
Poor oral hygiene and lifestyle factors like diet and smoking are a major factor in the onset of gum disease, but other factors like genetics and family history can also increase your risk.
Find a Dentist in Novi, MI
For more information about the best way to prevent gum disease at every age, contact Briar Pointe Dentistry by calling (248) 347-0030 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blavin today.
There are a variety of methods for treating periodontal (gum) disease depending on its severity — from routine office cleanings to periodontal surgery. But the goal behind all of them remains the same: remove bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar), the root cause for gum disease, from all tooth and gum surfaces.
The traditional method for doing this is called scaling in which we use special hand instruments (scalers) to mechanically remove plaque and calculus. Scaling and a similar procedure called root planing (the root surfaces are “planed” smooth of plaque to aid tissue reattachment) require quite a bit of skill and experience. They're also time-consuming: full treatment can take several sessions, depending on how extensive the infection has spread.
In recent years, we've also seen a new method emerge for removing plaque: lasers. Commonly used in other aspects of healthcare, lasers utilize a focused beam of light to destroy and remove diseased or unhealthy tissue while, according to studies and firsthand accounts, minimizing healthy tissue destruction to a better degree than traditional techniques. Procedure and healing times are likewise reduced.
Because of these beneficial characteristics, we are seeing their use in gum disease treatment, especially for removing diseased and inflamed tissues below the gum line and decreasing sub-gingival (“below the gums”) bacteria.
Dentists who have used lasers in this way do report less tissue damage, bleeding and post-treatment discomfort than traditional treatments. But because research is just beginning, there's not enough evidence to say laser treatment is preferably better than conventional treatment for gum disease.
At this point, lasers can be an effective addition to conventional gum disease treatment for certain people, especially those in the early stages of the disease. As we continue to study this technology, though, the day may come when lasers are the preferred way to stop gum disease from ruining your dental health.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Lasers Versus Traditional Cleanings for Treating Gum Disease.”