If you need gum therapy (also known as periodontal therapy) in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach, Dr. Mina Girgis is here to help. Gum therapy is often required to treat cases of gingivitis, as well as more advanced forms of periodontal disease. At Brite Clean Smiles, we want our patients to know when to seek gum therapy, and have all the necessary information about common gum therapy treatments:
Understanding Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) – What Is It?
Gum therapy is designed to help resolve cases of gum disease. So, what is gum disease?
Simply put, periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissue, which causes inflammation, decay, and deterioration of both the teeth and gums. In a healthy mouth, plaque and bacteria are removed regularly with proper brushing and flossing, and during oral hygiene checkups and teeth cleanings.
If you neglect your oral health, plaque will begin to build up on your gums and around your teeth, eventually hardening into tartar (calculus).
The bacteria in tartar then begins to infect and attack your gum tissue. In minor cases of gum disease (also called gingivitis), symptoms usually only include:
- Sensitivity of the teeth and gums
- Redness or discoloration of gums
- Gum inflammation and swelling
- Bleeding when brushing
- Halitosis (bad breath)
However, as gum disease becomes more advanced, it is harder to treat, and the symptoms become much more severe. These symptoms can include:
- Pockets of pus between the teeth
- Shifting and loosening (or total loss of) teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Receding gums
- Deterioration and weakening of the jaw, resulting in loss of multiple teeth
What Is Gum Therapy?
Gum therapy includes a number of different procedures. Here are some of the most common treatments for periodontal disease:
- Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning) – Scaling and root planing involves advanced tools, which are used to scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth, and reshape the roots to prevent further infections. It’s usually the first procedure performed, and can resolve minor cases of gingivitis.
- Periodontal Flap Therapy (Pocket Reduction) – Gum disease leaves “pockets” behind when the tissue around the roots of your teeth are destroyed, and these pockets collect more bacteria. This treatment eliminates pockets and helps prevent infection recurrence.
- Antibacterial Treatments – Antibiotics are administered with the above procedures to help fight back against infection and inflammation.
- Gum Grafts and Reshaping – If your gums are seriously damaged by gum disease, grafts can be used to replace them, using tissue from a healthy area of the mouth. Your gums may also need to be reshaped after gum disease treatment, to ensure a pleasing appearance.
- Periodontal Maintenance – Serious cases of gum disease cannot be permanently cured. In these cases, periodontal maintenance is required every 3 months to control the bacterial infection and keep it from damaging the mouth further.
Gum Disease and Heart Attacks
Many people are under the false impression that if their teeth are white, then their whole mouth is healthy. This simply isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, your gums are actually a better indicator of your oral health than your teeth are. If your gums are swollen, red, beginning to recede, or bleed when you brush or floss, then you might have gum disease.
Research has shown bacteria present in the mouth due to poor oral health causes an inflammatory response that is linked with the increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and much more; It is very important to monitor your well-being with regular oral health exams.
One common problem that can occur is periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or gum infection. Periodontal disease develops when plaque and tartar accumulate underneath the gum line. When this buildup begins, it can be extremely hard to clean with a regular toothbrush and can lead to decay of your teeth as well as the bones that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease is actually the number one cause of tooth loss, because decay that occurs below your gum line happens near or even below the roots of your teeth.
Bleeding or sore gums are signs of gum disease, such as Gingivitis or Periodontitis. If left untreated, this can result in loss of teeth and other more serious systemic diseases.
If you believe you may have periodontal disease, contact the Costa Mesa dentists at Brite Clean Smiles to schedule an appointment with our gum therapy dentist today! We have same-day appointment available.
ARESTIN® placement in infected areas of mouth
Patients with gum disease or an active gum infection may require the assistance of local antibiotics to help remove the infection.
Arestin is a time released antibiotic made of microspheres (tiny particles) that are smaller than grains of sand and are not visible to the eye. These microspheres release the antibiotic over time, killing bacteria so your gums can heal better. This is recommended to prevent further tissue damage which could lead to gum surgery.
Get Help Now From Dr. Mina Girgis – And Avoid Damage To Your Mouth
The longer you wait to get gum therapy, the worse your gum disease will be. If you suspect you have even a minor case of gum disease, don’t wait to seek treatment. Dr. Girgis and the team at Brite Clean Smiles in Orange County can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Call us at (949) 777-1005, or come to our office, which is located at 488 East 17th Street, STE A-101, Costa Mesa, CA, 92627.