And What's the Best Treatment for Gum Disease If You Have It?
Many of the patients we see at Coastal Periodontics don’t realize they’ve waited a bit too long to seek treatment for periodontal disease. As a periodontist, Dr. Tredinick specializes in treating complicated and severe conditions affecting the gums and bones that support your teeth.
Seemingly minor inconveniences like bleeding gums or mouth discomfort can grow into major health conditions if left untreated and affect your overall health. Patients who need treatment for periodontal disease can quickly feel overwhelmed by trying to decide on the best treatment option for their condition. But with the right guidance and a specialized approach, you can begin to manage your symptoms and stop the progression of the disease.
What Causes Periodontal Disease and What Are the Symptoms?
Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, is an advanced form of gum disease marked by severe inflammation of the gums. This condition can lead to complications including gum recession, bone damage and tooth loss.
Like other diseases, symptoms of periodontal disease worsen over time. During the early stages, your gums may start to pull away from your teeth. You might also notice they bleed more when you brush or floss. Without treatment, the connective tissue around your teeth can deteriorate and damage the bones underneath. If this happens, your teeth may become loose, change position or fall out.
Symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
- Receding gums
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Plaque or tartar build-up on your teeth
- Tooth loss
- Foul taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Increased inflammatory response throughout your body
Symptoms in the very early stages may be hard to notice. That’s why regular checkups are so important in preventing advanced gum disease.
Severe periodontal disease makes chewing and eating difficult, plus it can be extremely painful. Bacteria from your mouth could also enter your bloodstream through the openings in your gums and increase your risk for developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy complications.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The presence of bacteria in your mouth is absolutely normal. But if bacteria build up due to poor dental hygiene, they form a substance called plaque. This plaque deposits minerals on your teeth known as tartar, which encourages the growth of even more bacteria.
Your body’s natural immune response causes gum inflammation, and if the inflammation isn’t treated, gums may start to recede. This recession exposes “pockets” between your teeth and gums. Once food and bacteria find their way into these gaps, the risk for bone damage and tooth loss increases.
Common causes of periodontal disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Lack of preventative care (e.g. regular checkups)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hormonal changes in women from menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
- Weak immune system
- Certain medications that reduce the flow of saliva in your mouth
- Poor nutrition
“The procedure she recommended seemed revolutionary. It’s usually not the best day of your life when you go to the dentist, but here you feel at home, even if you’re scared you end up feeling completely relaxed. Soon enough, my mouth was fully operational and the recession completely gone.”
– Arnaud Dasprez
What Is the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?
While the damage from periodontal disease can’t be reversed without intervention, it can be stopped and managed. The best treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the disease and the extent to which the gums, bones and teeth are damaged.
Good oral hygiene is the most effective way to prevent and control periodontal disease. By brushing and flossing daily, you’ll be able to clean the bacteria from in and around your teeth and protect that beautiful smile for years to come!
Early Stage Treatments
For early-stage periodontal disease, common treatment options include what’s known as scaling and root planing, or deep cleaning, where a health care professional breaks up plaque below the gum line and smooths the surface of the tooth’s root to remove buildup. Local anesthesia is used during the procedure and recovery is relatively painless.
Antibiotics can also help treat advanced gum disease. They come in the form of gels, pills or medicine chips inserted onto the root of the tooth and released over time. Antibacterial mouthwash may also be effective.
Advanced Stage Treatments
For more severe cases of periodontal disease, surgical procedures may be necessary to stop the progression and repair damage to the gums.
Flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction, is a procedure where your periodontist makes incisions in your gums and lifts back the tissue to get a deeper clean during scaling and root planing. It also allows for any bone damage to be repaired. The periodontist repositions gums back on the teeth so it’s easier to clean and maintain gums.
Soft tissue grafts are another option for treating periodontal disease. During this procedure, donor tissue from your palate or another source is used to reinforce any gum line that’s receded. Any exposed roots or bone are covered and repaired with this new tissue.
If bone surrounding the roots of your teeth have been damaged, a potential treatment option is bone grafting. This procedure involves fitting real or synthetic bone onto the damaged parts of the existing bone. The replacement bone helps hold your teeth in place and promote new bone growth.
Treatment Options at Coastal Periodontics
At Coastal Periodontics, we offer state-of-the-art treatment for every stage of periodontal disease. Dr. Tredinick and our staff specialize in the unique care patients need when they experience complications related to gum inflammation, bone damage and tooth loss.
Nonsurgical treatments offered at Coastal include scaling and root planing, along with chemotherapeutic treatment that helps keep bacteria out of your mouth when we apply medicine below the gum line to stop the spread of gum disease.
If your condition requires more advanced treatment, we also provide surgical procedures to repair the soft tissue in your jaw affected by gum disease.
Periodontal Pocket Reduction
A pocket reduction is recommended when the gaps between your teeth and gums have become too broad to clean at home or with routine professional care. Your health care provider will fold back your gums to remove any bacteria associated with the gum disease, then repair the gaps with gum tissue.
Periodontal Regenerative Procedures
If too much tissue has already been lost, regenerative procedures are often the next best step in stopping and treating periodontal disease. Once the doctor pulls back the gums and cleans out the bacteria, tissue-stimulating proteins are applied along with fillers and bone grafts as needed.
LANAP® Laser Gum Surgery
LANAP is a laser surgical procedure performed to eliminate the bacteria that cause bleeding gums, inflammation and other symptoms of gum disease. LANAP is performed with the PerioLase® MVP-7® and is the only FDA-cleared protocol for gum disease treatment. Our periodontist offers this laser gum surgery because patients experience less pain and discomfort than they do with traditional surgery.
Dr. Tredinick is trained and certified in the use of LANAP using the PerioLase® MVP-7®. This laser gum surgery can treat bone loss, inflammation and bleeding gums, without the scalpel and sutures associated with traditional surgery.
For those looking for a solution with quick recovery time, Dr. Tredinick is proud to offer a minimally invasive, advanced treatment called the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Using this technique, Dr. Tredinick can correct your gum recession without the use of scalpels. This allows for a fast, pain-free procedure that can heal in a day.
How Much Is Gum Disease Treatment?
Our team believes in providing quality care all the way from the operating room to the front desk. We always work to maximize your health benefits when we recommend and perform procedures for treating periodontal disease. This starts with transparent, up-front estimates provided to you before the procedure, along with a variety of payment options.
We’re Here to Help Your Smile.
Visit our services page to learn more about advanced treatment options at Coastal Periodontics.
If you have concerns about the health of your gums and teeth, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Treat Tooth Decay and Gum Disease Naturally
Ozone therapy is a natural, comfortable treatment for minor to average tooth decay and periodontal infection. It uses ozone gas to destroy bacteria around your teeth and gums and create an environment in which it cannot flourish.
New Patient Special: Support the Charity of Your Choice
Get a complete exam, X-rays and 3D CT scan all for $250. We’ll create a personalized care plan for the treatment that is best for you, whether the revolutionary Pinhole Technique for gum recession, laser assisted treatment for gum disease, and a variety of implant procedures to replace missing teeth or support dentures. Plus, you’re supporting your community – we’ll donate a portion of your fee goes to the charity of your choice.