Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that creates pockets/spaces between the teeth and gums. Gum disease can cause bad breath, bleeding, swelling and tender gums. Gum disease is known to negatively affect an individuals diabetic control, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, neurological system, as well as pregnancy issues. Diabetics are more prone to developing gum disease as well as pregnant women although those may resolve after childbirth.
If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options depending on your situation and the severity of the problem. We start with the least invasive treatment first, which is non-surgical. However, in more serious cases, periodontal surgery may be necessary. Gum treatment also requires a maintenance period.
The first line of defense against gum disease is a special type of cleaning called “scaling and root planing.”, aka deep cleaning. Scaling and root planning removes much of the plaque and tarter below your gumline where the bacteria produces toxins that irritate your gums and cause the infections. This procedure creates a clean, healthy surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth.
Arestin placement may be considered and recommended depending on the individuals’ response to the deep cleaning. Arestin is an antibiotic that is gently placed around the tooth that will completely disinfect the area. The disinfection will allow the natural flora to return thus the return of healthy gums.
If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment that is needed. Homecare after the procedure is an essential part of keeping the teeth in good shape and disease free. You must brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use, and have regular dental checkups. Even though everyone can benefit from an electronic toothbrush and/or water pik, individuals with gum disease history have greater benefits to adding these to their daily home regiment. Even after a successful scaling and root planing, if you don't properly care for your teeth/gums, it's quite likely that you'll develop gum disease again. Many people are recommended and benefit greatly from more frequent cleanings at a 3 month cycle.