Protect Your Oral Health
Your gums are a crucial part of your oral health. If they get infected, it can lead to a wide range of serious health consequences. Periodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on preserving the health of your gums and we’re proud to offer advanced treatment options at our practice.
Explore our guide to learn some facts about gum disease and how we can help prevent it.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an oral infection that develops in your gum tissue. It’s caused by excessive plaque, a type of harmful bacteria that sticks to your teeth and builds up in your gum tissue.
There are two primary stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis -- There’s typically no pain or other symptoms at this point, but your gums will appear red and inflamed.
- Periodontitis -- If you don’t get treatment soon enough, the infection will eventually progress to periodontitis. Bacteria will start to destroy the underlying bones and tissues in your mouth, causing severe pain and eventual tooth loss.
Risk Factors For Gum Disease
There are several factors that can increase your risk of gum disease. Some of these include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Certain health conditions, such as cancer and AIDS
- Medications that reduce saliva flow
Treatment Options For Gum Disease
Scaling and Root Planing
If your infection is still in the gingivitis stage, we can usually eliminate it with scaling and root planing. Also known as a deep cleaning, this procedure involves using specialized dental tools to remove plaque from below your gum line. By seeking treatment early, you can avoid serious consequences like tooth loss and deep pockets in your gum tissue.
As gum disease progresses, it will cause your gum tissue to pull away from your teeth, creating spaces known as periodontal pockets. These pockets are problematic because they allow bacteria to thrive and expose the roots of your teeth.
To perform a gum graft, Dr. Shlafer will use healthy gum tissue from another part of your mouth or a donor source and graft it to the receding areas. This will restore the health and appearance of your gums, while guarding against further infection.
LANAP® Laser Treatment
A pain-free, minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery, LANAP laser treatment is changing the field of periodontics. Using the specialized PerioLase® MVP-7™ laser, Dr. Shlafer can target bacteria and infected gum tissue with unmatched precision.
Unlike traditional surgery, there’s no need to cut into your healthy tissue, allowing you to heal faster with little to no discomfort. Best of all, LANAP treatment also stimulates regeneration so your gums can return to full health.
Gum Graft Surgery
For patients who feel that they have a “gummy” smile, crown lengthening will remove excess gum tissue to reveal more of your natural teeth. In addition to enhancing the appearance of your smile, this treatment helps to prevent gum disease by reducing the depth of pockets in your gums.
The procedure only takes about an hour and Dr. Shlafer will use local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel any pain. By the time you leave our office, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy and beautiful smile.
Visit Dr. Shlafer for Periodontal Treatment
If you have gum disease, it’s essential that you act quickly -- the sooner you get treatment, the more likely you can avoid serious health consequences. No matter what stage your infection is at, Dr. Shlafer will identify the best treatment solution for you and help to preserve your oral health.
Call our Farmington Hills practice at (248) 781-0040 and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Shlafer today.