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 s 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 helpful guide below to learn more about gum disease and how the skilled dental team at Roman Shlafer DDS can help prevent it.
How Gum Disease Begins
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an oral infection that develops in your gum tissue. Gum disease is a progressively worsening condition caused by excessive bacteria.
Your mouth has its own microbiome that is full of healthy bacteria whose main job is to break down food and deliver nutrients to the rest of your body. When there is an abundance of sugar, or if food is left sitting in your mouth for too long, it can lead to the formation of unhealthy bacteria which throw things out of balance.
The bacteria will accumulate on the surface of your teeth in the form of a sticky, film-like substance called plaque. If it is not removed with improved dental hygiene practices, it can harden into tartar (calculus) which can only be removed with professional dental tools.
The bacteria can impact the gums directly causing an infection in the gums. Or it can work its way through the protective outer layer of the teeth (enamel) and infect the gums from the inside. Small hollow spaces (cavities) can form and deepen all the way down to the root and reach the gums. The first stage of periodontal disease begins when the gums become infected.
Stages of Gum Disease
Scheduling dental visits twice a year at our Farmington Hills office allows us to keep plaque at bay. Coupled with a consistent at-home dental hygiene practice, you can prevent plaque build-up all year long. Because periodontal disease occurs in stages, it’s imperative to seek treatment as early as possible. There are four stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: There’s typically no pain at this stage, but your gums will appear red and inflamed. It is the only stage that is reversible.
- Early (or Slight) 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.
- Moderate Periodontitis: The bacteria are now able to penetrate through to your bloodstream. This can result in a weakened immune system, tooth shifting, gum sensitivity, and tooth loss.
Advanced Periodontitis: The bacteria have evolved, and at this stage, you may experience oozing, swollen, and painful gums. You may develop severe
halitosis (bad breath)and are at a higher risk for both bone and 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
Gum disease is highly treatable and preventable. After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Shlafer will examine the state of your gums and teeth to determine which treatment solution is best for you.
Scaling and Root Planing
If your infection is still in the gingivitis stage, we can usually eliminate it with scaling and root planing. This treatment acts as a deep cleaning and involves the use of 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 attach 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 and 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 and with little to no discomfort. Best of all, LANAP treatment also stimulates regeneration, so your gums can return to full health.
For patients who feel that they have a “gummy” smile, crown lengthening can remove excess gum tissue to reveal more of your natural teeth. In addition to enhancing the appearance of your smile, this treatment also 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 a local anesthetic to ensure you won’t feel any pain. By the time you leave our Farmington Hills office, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy and beautiful smile.
By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine and following a well-balanced diet in combination with regular dental visits and teeth cleanings at our Farmington office, you can decrease your risk of developing gum disease.
At the more severe stage, periodontitis can spread to your surrounding bone, tissue, and teeth in your mouth and increase your risk for other dental problems. Signs of periodontitis include loose teeth, receding gums, discomfort, and pus.
If you begin to notice signs of don’t hesitate to give us a call to we can help.
Due to the infection periodontal disease generally causes, your gums and tooth sockets will have hardened plaque and food particles that stick to your teeth. By using mouthwash, it will be able to help clean off the plaque and prevent it from sticking in the future.
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 be able to 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.