Gum Disease 

Gum disease is caused by an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. It can be just in a small area or more generalized throughout the mouth. Bacteria release toxins, which eat away at soft tissue and bone supporting teeth. Early symptoms include gums that bleed during brushing or flossing, an odd taste in the mouth, and swollen gums. Unchecked, periodontitis will result in significant loss of bone around the teeth, causing them to loosen and eventually fall out.

Gum disease can have serious health implications including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature birth. Prevention is critical to overall wellness, and it is simple, beginning with good home care.

  • Brush teeth, gums, and tongue at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush. We may also recommend a mechanical tooth brush or an oral irrigation device.
  • Use an anti-bacterial mouth rinse.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove bacteria between the teeth and below the gum line.
  • If you smoke, stop. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. All smokers have some degree of gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Learn more about Gum Disease

Treatment of gum disease, whether surgical or non-surgical, depends on severity. In a common non-surgical technique called scaling and root planing, bacteria are eliminated from the pockets around the roots. Once the mouth is anesthetized, a hygienist will use dental instruments or an ultra-sonic device to remove tartar and bacteria from root surfaces and beneath gums. In addition to eradication of existing bacteria, smooth root surfaces inhibit further bacteria from attaching (rough, irregular, diseased roots attract bacteria)

A surgical treatment is sometimes necessary for advanced periodontitis or gum tissue which does not respond to scaling and root planing. A periodontist gains access to roots, cleans them, and closes up the gum tissue. Lost bone may be grown or replaced with grafts. If necessary, Dr. Blaha will refer you to a specialist when surgery or more advanced treatment is needed.

Different types of antibiotics may be used, depending on the extent of the infection and the gum disease. Dr. Blaha and the hygienists at Platte Valley Dental Care evaluate each client and provide individual treatment based on the disease present.

Gum disease is treatable, but is never cured. Good oral hygiene remains your best prevention.

Platte Valley Dental

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