Gum Disease Treatment in Atlanta, GA
Gum disease is a common—but complex—part of the dental world. From minor inflammation of the gums to extensive bone loss and chronic infection, it can be a challenge to reverse unless we can develop a clear action plan and work with you to correct it. The good news, though, is that it can be corrected. Peach Valley Dental is proud to offer comprehensive gum disease treatment in Atlanta, GA.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease ranges in severity, from minor swelling and inflammation in the gum tissue to much more severe pockets of plaque, receding gums, bone loss, and even loss of teeth. What starts out as a little irritation can get out of control if it is not addressed quickly enough. Therefore, there are several types of gum disease. You may have heard the term “gingivitis,” which refers to that minor inflammation and swelling mentioned previously. “Periodontal disease,” on the other hand, is the more severe progression.
With periodontal disease, bacteria that collects at the gum line can work its way down between the teeth and gums. This causes inflammation, and the swelling will start to cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth. This causes a repeating pattern of bacteria getting deeper into the gums, causing pockets of bacteria to perpetuate more swelling, more pulling away—or recession—of the gum tissue, and so on. Ultimately, you can lose teeth if the periodontal disease gets severe enough, so it’s important to get it under control as quickly as possible.
If we determine that you have gingivitis, we will remove any built-up plaque during your exam and cleaning and review the specific areas of concern. Generally, our patients can fully reverse the effects of gingivitis through a better home oral health care routine of proper brushing, flossing, and possibly an antibacterial mouthwash. With proper care, you will notice improvement in redness and swelling within several days. By continuing with your home routine, you can prevent gingivitis from coming back.
Periodontal Gum Disease Treatment
Since periodontal disease is the more severe progression of gingivitis, it naturally requires more aggressive treatment. Even within the category of “periodontal disease,” intensity can vary from patient to patient. In general, though, we will start with a special type of cleaning called a “full mouth debridement,” which is the first step in removing the buildup and bacteria so we can see your specific needs. After the debridement, we will likely complete a special type of cleaning called an SRP, which stands for scaling and root planing. This type of cleaning goes deeper into those pockets of inflammation, under the gum line, to remove the built-up bacteria.
The goal for treatment following an SRP is to get you on a regular routine of four cleanings per year, with the hopes of being able to reduce that to three cleanings per year, and then eventually down to the two dental cleanings per year that we recommend to healthy patients.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
As we mentioned earlier, gum disease can range from minor irritation to substantial bone loss. However, that minor redness, swelling, and tenderness in the gums is often the first symptom of a problem. Other early symptoms include tenderness and soreness when brushing and flossing, as well as chronic bad breath. Many patients experiencing these symptoms are unlikely to be flossing regularly since this can be a little painful. If you are flossing and noticing that your gums bleed while doing so, this can also be a sign of gum disease.
More advanced signs of gum disease include the gum tissue pulling away from the teeth, forming pockets for food and bacteria to collect. Additionally, your gums may look like they are receding or shrinking. As the gum tissue continues to pull away over time, you may also start to notice hot and cold sensitivity if the roots become exposed. Bone loss, severe tooth decay, tooth pain, and loose teeth are later stage signs of severe gum disease.
Is Gum Disease Reversible?
Yes! It is very possible to fully reverse the effects of gum disease, even in severe cases. To do this, we need you to stay on top of the action plan we develop together. This starts with removing all the bacteria in our office, and it continues with your home care routine. Along the way, we will monitor your progress and continue to clean your teeth more frequently to ensure the disease and inflammation do not return. We have seen great success in many patients. The key is consistency.
Why Can’t I Get a Regular Cleaning if I Have Gum Disease?
One of the more common questions we get is why a standard dental cleaning can’t be done on patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease. A standard cleaning won’t get under the gum line and remove the bacteria that causes the inflammation. Our goal is to ensure all issues are identified and addressed so you can keep your smile looking and feeling great. If you have gum disease, it’s important for us to address it as soon as we find it. This prevents your condition from escalating. Completing the proper type of cleaning helps us do this.
Working with Peach Valley Dental to Correct Your Gum Disease
If you believe you have gum disease, the good news is our Atlanta dentist can help. And with an estimated 64 million Americans in the same situation, you are not alone. With a proper action plan, your gum disease is curable. Some thorough cleaning, a great home care plan, and improved habits will get you back to that healthy smile before you know it. If you are looking for gum disease treatment in Atlanta, GA, contact us to talk more about your specific case and to schedule a consultation.