Swollen or tender gums may seem like nothing more than a nuisance, but left untreated, severe periodontal disease may develop. Over time, gum disease can cause the teeth to loosen and even fall out, and it can also create health complications for diabetics and pregnant women. New studies show that gum disease is also a significant risk factor for both heart attack and stroke. If you are making the effort to lower your cholesterol and if you're watching your weight, exercising, or have stopped smoking, it only makes good sense to eliminate another significant risk factor. Early detection of periodontal disease allows for simple preventive treatments that can deter the spread of the disease and save you from these potential serious health problems.
In the past, surgery offered the only treatment for gum disease, but modern technology gives dentists new and less invasive choices. Our soft tissue laser can target precise pockets of inflammation and vaporize harmful bacteria and damaged tissue. Dr. Patrick Carroll and Dr. Deborah Shoemaker are also pleased to introduce PerioProtect – the latest alternative to periodontal surgery that can provide extremely effective results.
Previously, if gum disease progressed to an advanced stage, removing the diseased tissue was your only option. Now, for patients with mild to moderate gum disease, we can create comfortable trays that you will wear at home. These trays will deliver medication to the affected area and prevent saliva from washing it away. Patients have had great success with PerioProtect, and we’re excited to offer this treatment at our office.
Another approach we can use to treat advanced gum disease involves a deep cleaning, and this uses two procedures known as scaling and root planing.
Think of scaling as a dental cleaning specifically for your gums. Using special tools, your doctor can clear away built up plaque, bacteria, and tartar from both above and below your gum line. Afterward, root planing will be used to gently smooth out the rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots. This will help prevent plaque from accumulating on them in the future, and it will also allow your gums to reattach themselves firmly to your teeth as they heal.
Typically, scaling and root planing can be completed over the course of a few visits, and thanks to local anesthesia, you’ll be completely comfortable the entire time. Once the procedures are finished, you’ll be asked to come back for a follow-up appointment to make sure you are healing well.
Our soft tissue laser allows us to treat advanced gum disease faster and safer than ever before. The highly-concentrated beam of light can quickly clear away plaque and bacteria, and it is so precise that it will not affect any of the surrounding tissue, which will reduce any discomfort you might feel both during and after the procedure. All in all, this is one of the most efficient and patient-friendly treatments we have.
Gum disease starts very subtly, so the best thing to do is seek out treatment if you are showing any minor symptoms. If you have red, swollen, or tender gums that bleed whenever you brush your teeth, be sure to contact us for an appointment as soon as you can. The sooner we catch it, the easier it will be for us to treat!