We screen for periodontal disease on every patient, every adult patient. We take six readings around each tooth and your pocket depth should be zero to three millimeters. Anything greater than three millimeters, we actively treat. Because we know if we don't treat it, that leads to bone loss and could eventually lead to tooth loss. We recommend for our patients, if they do have pockets to come for ... come for treatments which are really basically the same thing as a normal cleaning but you're anesthetized for them. It's nothing to fear and most patients find afterwards it really wasn't anything different than a normal cleaning, just that they were numb for it.
We use some of the new treatments, some antibiotics that we put underneath the gum to try to kill the bacteria. We also have a laser that we use to treat the pockets, to sterilize the pockets, kill the bacteria. The idea with gum disease is that the gum is basically unzipping from the root of your tooth and we're trying to get it to reattach to your tooth and keep your body healthier.
Gum disease is a very sneaky problem. Many people are suffering from the effects of gum disease and have no idea that they have it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47 percent of Americans are living with some form of gum disease. The risk of gum disease gets even larger as you age. There is a reported 70 percent rate of gum disease in people ages 65 and older. That is an amazing and scary statistic. If gum disease had the same symptoms as the flu, over half the country would be sick in bed right now. So, how do you avoid suffering from a disease that half the country has come down with? Knowledge is going to be your biggest defense against the dangers of gum disease. Knowledge, and gum disease treatment from your friends at Hellertown Dental Group.
What Is Gum Disease?
The proper name for gum disease is periodontal disease. This disease is a bacterial infection of your gum tissue caused by plaque and tartar buildup along and under your gumline. The plaque feeds off the sugars in the foods you eat and produces bacteria as a byproduct. There is bacteria present in your mouth at all times – there is no way around that – but the problem comes when you have too much bacteria in your mouth. The excess causes an infection in your gums that will destroy your gum tissue if you don’t get treatment for it. Regular exams and cleanings, coupled with flossing and brushing as recommended, help keep the amount of plaque and subsequent bacteria at bay. Still, many people end up with gum disease because of poor oral hygiene, bad habits (tobacco users are much more likely to develop gum disease than non-tobacco users), or genetics.
What Are The Symptoms?
The beginning stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. It is important to note that all gum disease starts as gingivitis, but not all gingivitis progresses to gum disease. The symptoms of gingivitis are subtle and easy to brush aside. Your gums will be inflamed and will bleed easily when you brush your teeth. Many times, this is dismissed as having brushed your teeth too hard, but this is a warning sign that you should schedule a gum disease treatment appointment to see Hellertown, PA dentist Dr. Hunsicker-Morrissey or Dr. Garubba immediately. The more advanced symptoms of periodontal disease are as follows:
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Shifting teeth
- Loose teeth
- Adverse change to your bite
How Can Hellertown Dental Group Help?
The good news is that gum disease can be treated. Your Hellertown, PA dentist at Hellertown Dental Group can help reverse the effects of this terrible disease and give you your smile back. Your gum disease treatment options may include:
Perio Protect Trays – The special Perio Protect trays deliver a medicated gel directly to your gumline and underneath it to help control the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth. This gum disease treatment is done at home, in between visits to Hellertown Dental Group. Your Hellertown, PA dentist will determine the specifics of your Perio Protect treatment according to your unique situation.
PerioLase (LANAP) – This is a minimally invasive laser gum disease treatment. With the use of special laser technology, your dentist at Hellertown Dental Group will eradicate the infection in your gum tissue without the need for surgery.
Scaling and Root Planing – The most traditional method of treating gum disease is the scaling and root planing method. Scaling will remove the hardened plaque from around your gumline as well as underneath it. Once the tartar and plaque have been removed, your trusted Hellertown, PA dentist Dr. Hunsicker-Morrissey will perform the root planing part of the procedure. This involves smoothing any rough spots on your tooth roots to further clear the area of harmful bacteria and promote new tissue growth.
What Are Gum Grafts Used To Treat?
Gum recession is a big problem for many people. With gum disease at an almost epidemic rate, more and more people are suffering from gum recession. One way of treating this problem is through gum grafting. During this procedure, your Hellertown Dental Group dentist will prepare the area for the graft. This will include clearing any plaque and tartar, as well as smoothing rough spots on the gums and tooth roots. This will give the new gum material an ideal spot in which to begin to grow. Restoring your gumline to its proper position and saving your teeth are the goals for this procedure.
Taking care of your gums is an important task. Let your friends at Hellertown Dental Group help you with gum disease treatment. Call our Hellertown, PA dentist office at 484-858-0949 for an appointment. You can also schedule your appointment online using our web form.