Do you know what the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States is? You might think that it’s cavities or injuries, but it’s actually gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a dangerous chronic infection in your gums. When plaque builds up in your mouth, bacteria gradually weaken and damage your gums to the point that they pull away from the teeth. Not only can this result in oral health problems like bleeding gums and tooth loss, but bacteria can access your bloodstream through these gum pockets and wreak havoc on other areas of your body. At LakeView Family Dental, we do our best to stop gum disease in its tracks by detecting and treating it in the early stages. If we notice any symptoms, we can promptly prescribe periodontal therapy in West Bloomfield. To learn more about gum disease, just call us. Our friendly team is here to answer any of your questions.
As with most dental problems, the key to effectively treating periodontal disease is to catch it early on. That’s why we closely examine your gum tissue during every dental checkup. We look for early warning signs like redness, swelling, and tenderness. More advanced symptoms include persistent bad breath, receding gums, and bleeding while brushing or flossing. If we notice any of these, we’ll come up with a targeted, personalized treatment plan.
The first step to getting rid of gum disease is eliminating the plaque and bacteria that have accumulated around the gums and the roots of the teeth. To do this, our in-house periodontist (gum specialist), Dr. Mark S. Isler, will use a treatment called scaling and root planing, also known as a dental deep cleaning. Once we remove plaque from the gums (scaling), we smooth out the teeth’s roots (root planing), making it less likely for bacteria to gather on them again and lowering your risk for future gum disease.
The bacteria associated with periodontal disease tend to grow in pockets that develop between the gums and the teeth. As the infection progresses, it can be difficult to reach all of these bacteria, even with scaling and root planing. Fortunately, we can apply a topical antibiotic called Arestin directly to the gums. It slowly disperses throughout the gums to kill any remaining bacteria.
Gum disease is a persistent infection, so even after an initial treatment in our office, you’ll need diligent aftercare to prevent it from returning. The two major steps in that process are regular at-home oral hygiene (including daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash) and more frequent checkups and cleanings with your dentist in West Bloomfield. This method has been proven to keep oral bacteria under control and preserve your long-term health.