Why Treating Gum Disease is Important
If you have swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, you’re not alone. Gum disease is an infection that develops in the gums due to bacteria produced by dental plaque. Poor hygiene habits and neglecting treatment can increase your chances of getting gum disease.
Our Brentwood, TN office can treat gum disease and help you get back on track. Dr. Rice offers various periodontal treatments to help you feel confident in your smile without any pain or discomfort caused by gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, or gum inflammation. This is when your gums appear to be mildly inflamed and red. Some bleeding may occur during brushing and flossing.
If left untreated, it affects the underlying bone and advances into a more severe condition– periodontitis. During this stage, plaque begins to harden and move closer towards your tooth roots, causing your gums to separate from your teeth.
As time goes on, the condition will evolve into advanced periodontitis. This is the most severe stage of gum disease, where your supporting fibers and bone are destroyed. Teeth will often become loose, and tooth extraction is likely.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Dentists often refer to gum disease as a silent killer–it can easily progress to an advanced stage while going unnoticed.
Noticing symptoms in the early stages of gum disease is critical in reversing it before it has damaging effects. Some common symptoms of periodontitis may include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Teeth shifting positions
- Receding gum line
- Spaces or gaps between teeth
- Permanent bad breath
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s likely you suffer from gum disease. It’s important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rice before your symptoms worsen. Our Brentwood office offers multiple treatments, including periodontal therapy and holistic laser dentistry.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Regular flossing and brushing is an important part of preventing gum disease. However, a good oral care regimen doesn’t prevent you from being at risk. Plaque and tartar can build up in places your brush or floss can’t reach.
Dr. Rice recommends regular visits to Cool Springs Laser Dentistry for professional cleanings in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene at home. She advises you come in once every six months, but you may need additional visits if you already have gingivitis or periodontitis.
It’s easy to overlook gum disease in its early stages, but it’s important to address at the first sign of inflammation. Here at Cool Springs Laser Dentistry, we offer a saliva test to recognize signs of gum damage or hidden disease. This allows our patients to receive immediate treatment without surgery.
Treating Gum Disease
Prior to treatment, Dr. Rice will perform an exam to check for receding gum lines, loose teeth, an incorrect bite, and periodontal pockets, or deep spaces in your gums. An x-ray might also be done to examine your jaw structure, along with damage to the bone.
If you’re at the first stage of gingivitis, Dr. Rice will perform a non-surgical treatment, scaling and root planing. The infected areas will be numbed with a local anesthesia before being treated with irrigants and antibiotics.
Once the diseased root surfaces are smoothed, or planed, to keep toxins and bacteria away, the immune system can effectively begin restoration. This is when the damaged collagen fibers reattach to hold teeth in the bone. Dr. Rice often uses laser bacterial reduction to further reduce the bacteria collected in the pockets.
For our patients with more severe cases, Dr. Rice offers Laser Wavelength Assisted Periodontal Microsurgery with the NdYAGand Erbium LightWalker® Laser. Our skilled dentist received training by the Academy of Clinical Technology to provide the highest quality care for our Brentwood patients.
Start Your Journey Towards a Healthier Smile
At Cool Springs Dentistry, Dr. Rice and her team strive to provide optimal dental care and help you achieve the smile of your dreams. If you suffer from gum disease or have noticed any symptoms, visit our Brentwood office or simply give us a call at 615-649-0556.
We ensure that you’ll leave your first visit with a personal treatment plan, organized follow-up visits, and an at-home care regimen. Don’t wait any longer to feel confident with your smile again.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gum Disease
How is gum disease linked to heart disease?
Research has shown that people with gum disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or other cardiovascular health issues. It is believed that chronic inflammation is the cause of the association between gum disease and heart disease.
What other health conditions are associated with gum disease?
In addition to heart disease, people with gum disease may also be more likely to develop pneumonia, respiratory disease, kidney disease and certain cancers. Gum disease has also been linked to diabetes.
Is gum disease treatment covered by insurance?
The majority of dental insurance plans cover the cost of preventive care, which is essential to helping prevent periodontal disease. Advanced gum care may not be covered by your insurance, which is why it’s so important to have regular dental checkups with Dr. Rice so she can identify potential concerns before they become serious problems.
Is gum disease contagious?
Gum disease is an inflammatory reaction to bacteria trapped under the gums. While the technical cause of gum disease—inflammation—isn’t contagious, it is possible to spread the bacteria that causes this inflammation. This bacteria is spread through saliva, so it’s wise to avoid kissing or sharing utensils, cups, or toothbrushes with people who have periodontal disease.