Gum Disease Treatment in Colorado Springs
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it’s also known, can happen to anyone — regardless of age. While poor dental hygiene is often a factor in the development of gum disease, it’s not the only factor. Smoking, pregnancy, genetics, and even certain medications can lead to gum disease. In an effort to stop the continuous destruction caused by periodontitis, Dr. Jackson Anderson offers gum disease treatment in his Colorado Springs dental office. Our gum disease therapy will remove the infection, help rebuild oral health and prevent further damage to your teeth, tissue and bone.
Symptoms and Stages of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease doesn’t always have noticeable symptoms. In its earliest stages, there may be no symptoms at all. Gingivitis is a condition that is a precursor to gum disease; if left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and progress into full-blown gum disease. Gingivitis occurs when tartar — a thin, sticky bacterial film — accumulates on the teeth and begins attacking the gum tissue.
Symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease include:
Unexplained bleeding – Bleeding when brushing, flossing or eating food is one of the most common symptoms of a periodontal infection. The toxins in plaque cause a bacterial infection which makes the tissues prone to bleeding.
Pain, redness or swelling – A periodontal infection may be present if the gums are swollen, red or painful for no apparent reason. It is essential to halt the progression of the infection before the gum tissue and jaw bone have been affected. It is also critical to treat the infection before it is carried into the bloodstream to other areas of the body.
Longer-looking teeth – Periodontal disease can lead to gum recession. The toxins produced by bacteria can destroy the supporting tissue and bones, thus making the teeth look longer and the smile appear more “toothy.”
Bad breath/halitosis – Although breath odor can originate from the back of the tongue, the lungs and stomach, the food we consume, or from tobacco use, bad breath can also be caused by old food particles that sit between the teeth and underneath the gumline. The deeper gum pockets are able to house more debris and bacteria, causing a foul odor.
Loose teeth/change in bite pattern – A sign of rapidly progressing periodontitis is the loosening or shifting of the teeth in the affected area. As the bone tissue gets destroyed, teeth that were once firmly attached to the jawbone become loose or may shift in position.
Pus – Pus oozing from between the teeth is a definitive sign that a periodontal infection is in progress. The pus is a result of the body trying to fight the bacterial infection.
In cases of advanced periodontal disease, there may also be a discharge of pus from the infected area. Gum disease also leads to tooth decay, as it attacks and erodes the enamel then moves further into the tooth. If left untreated, gum disease can eventually cause tooth loss.
Complications Associated with Gum Disease
Gum disease can also affect other parts of the body as well. There is a link between gum disease and the progression of other diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Think of the mouth as an entry point for the rest of the body — inflammation caused by plaque can spread from the mouth to other parts of the body, such as the heart. Proper oral health care is an important part of overall wellness.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
The best strategy is to avoid gum disease altogether through good oral health habits and regular dental visits. However, for existing cases of gum disease, there are treatment options available. The right treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Possible treatments for gum disease include:
- Pocket elimination surgery
- Laser treatment
- Tissue and bone grafting
The removal of tooth decay and filling of the cavities left behind may also be necessary. For patients with gingivitis, Dr. Anderson and his staff use water to deep clean and perform scaling and planing to remove tartar and plaque. Only a professional cleaning can remove this sticky film as brushing and flossing alone are ineffective.
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.
If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
The Importance of Prevention
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is extremely important. In addition to good oral care habits at home, routine checkups are also necessary. Dr. Anderson and his friendly staff provide all new patients with a gum disease check and oral cancer screening with their routine cleaning.
Schedule Your Appointment
Whether you need a routine cleaning, haven’t had a dental checkup in a while, or are experiencing any symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease, the Colorado Springs office of Jackson L. Anderson, DDS can help. Dr. Anderson and his staff provide compassionate, personalized dental care to patients of all ages. Schedule your appointment today by contacting our office or request your appointment online.