If you suspect you have a dental issue, the chances are good that you need treatment. The best thing to do is come into the office for a consultation. At Dental Care of Jackson Hole, we can take a thorough look and determine the cause, condition, and recommended treatment for any dental issue – including gum disease. Your gums will typically give you a good indication of when you need treatment. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that are more red than usual.
- Inflamed or swollen gums.
- Bleeding gums.
- Painful gums.
Gum disease can be severe and lead to other health complications within your body. If you suspect you have an issue, it’s best to seek a dental evaluation as soon as possible.
How We Treat Gum Disease
The best way to treat gum disease can depend on the type and severity of the condition. Gingivitis is a common gum disease type that can be cured and avoided by maintaining excellent dental hygiene.
If you don’t clean your teeth often enough or have a health issue that can cause the condition to worsen quickly, you may experience gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when plaque and bacteria on your teeth build up between the teeth and gums.
Like all gum disease types, we start gingivitis treatment with a cleaning. A professional cleaning can reach and clean more of the plaque and bacteria that cause the disease than you can typically come with a home-care dental routine.
We’ll start the cleaning using specialized tools to target hardened plaque (tartar) and remove all unwanted debris from the tooth surfaces. We’ll follow the cleaning with tooth polishing to ensure your teeth shine as bright and white as possible. Lastly, we’ll floss between your teeth to ensure we’ve cleaned around them thoroughly. We typically offer our patients a fluoride treatment once the cleaning is complete, an extra measure to protect the teeth from decay.
The entire cleaning process usually takes around an hour and can be performed with as little discomfort as possible. Once your teeth are professionally clean, we’ll provide some home-care dental hygiene tips which can help you prevent gingivitis from coming back.
If you allow your gum disease to progress without treatment, you may experience a more severe condition called Periodontitis.
Fortunately, we can slow down and control Periodontitis. But unlike gingivitis, Periodontitis is not curable. Working with a dentist on a maintenance plan once you have the periodontitis diagnosis is essential.
Like Gingivitis, Periodontitis involves professional cleaning for treatment. Visiting your dentist for a cleaning is recommended about twice per year, but with a condition like Periodontitis, we may recommend you receive professional cleanings more often.
Periodontitis occurs when excess plaque, bacteria, and tartar builds up between the teeth and gums, causing a “pocket” of space between them. The buildup can progress further down the tooth root until it eventually reaches the jawbone. If left untreated for long enough, Periodontitis can cause not only gum damage and tooth loss but jawbone deterioration.
Periodontitis may also involve advanced treatment procedures such as root scaling and planning. With scaling, we remove all the plaque and tartar above and below the gum line, cleaning down to the pocket formed between the tooth and gums. Once we clean the pocket, we’ll perform root planing, where we’ll smooth out the tooth roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth.
How to Avoid Gum Disease
Maintaining good dental care habits is the best way to avoid gum disease, along with regular checkups by your dentist. As long as you keep your teeth as clean as possible, the chances are good that you’ll have excellent gum and overall dental health.
- Brush and floss twice daily.
- Practice a healthy diet and avoid eating and drinking things that promote tooth decay.
- See your dentist for regular checkups.
Call Us Today and Keep the Gum Disease Away
If you have any questions about keeping your teeth and gums healthy, we’d be happy to answer them. Call us today and set up an appointment at our Jackson, Wyoming office. Dr. Paula Schmidt and Dr. Braiden Jorgensen look forward to working with you.