Gum Disease

Gum Disease

According to the American Dental Association, one out of two adults age 30 or older suffer from gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in the mouth that affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth. At Govani Dental, we evaluate our patients closely for signs of gum disease and take measures to reduce the incidents of gum disease.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is most often caused by plaque, the sticky film that forms on teeth and contains bacteria. When plaque is missed during brushing and flossing, it hardens and turns into tartar. Gum disease can progress into periodontitis with a permanent loss of bone structure.

Gum disease can be localized to one tooth or area of the mouth, or it can be generalized and affect all or most of the teeth. Gum disease does not always affect the teeth at the same time or to the same severity. For example, one tooth may experience active gum disease with bone loss while another tooth may not experience any active gum disease.

Evaluating for Gum Disease

Gum disease can progress slowly, and symptoms are not always noticeable. That’s why it’s important to visit us for regular check-ups, during which we evaluate the tissue and supporting bone around the teeth. We check the color of the tissue—healthy tissue is pale pink, whereas unhealthy tissue may be red or even have a blue tint. We also take X-rays to check for any bone loss or defects.

We also will look for loosening teeth, gum recession and exposed roots—all signs of bone loss. At Govani Dental, we also conduct a thorough review of your medical history to determine whether a health condition, such as diabetes or the need for certain medications, is worsening gum disease.

Gum Disease Treatment

The start of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is reversible. Gingivitis is essentially start of inflammation that can be treated with dental cleanings and evaluations. At the start of gum disease, our trusted dental hygienist will provide general cleaning procedures with scaling and polishing.

Periodontal Treatment

If there is the start of infection due to bacteria and loss of some bone structure related to the teeth, that means gum disease is no longer gingivitis, it has progressed to periodontitis. If that is the case, we’ll likely start with deep cleaning, called scaling, and root planing to remove bacteria and tartar under the tissue. Scaling removes tartar below the gum line, while planing smooths the tooth root, helping the gums reattach to the root. Our goal with these treatments is to prevent further bone loss and stabilize the tissue.

After this treatment, it’s important to visit us more often for periodontal maintenance. Different from a routine dental cleaning, this maintenance takes place every three to four months to prevent gum disease from reactivating. If periodontitis is advanced with severe bone loss or cannot be stabilized, we may refer you to a periodontist who specializes in treating the gum and bone.

Catch Gum Disease Early

The defense against gum disease is to brush at least twice a day, floss, eat a well-balanced diet and visit us for regular cleanings. At Govani Dental, we want to help you keep your teeth, gums and bones as healthy as possible. Contact us for an appointment today.

Ready to Join the Govani Dental Family?

If you’re interested in becoming a Govani Dental patient, schedule your appointment online or by calling 920-231-1955.

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