SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE
- Red, swollen and/or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Shifting of teeth or loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the fit of dentures
STAGES OF GUM DISEASE
Gingivitis: early stage gum disease, gingivitis is typically easy to treat but may require additional at home care to prevent it from returning. Patients with recurring gingivitis may benefit from more frequent dental cleanings in our dentist office.
Periodontitis: advanced gum disease, periodontitis can cause permanent damage to gum tissue and weaken the teeth. This often requires intensive treatment to address damage and restore oral health.
Recent scientific studies have consistently shown the relationship between periodontal disease and an increased risk for developing or being more severely affected by cardiovascular and systemic diseases. When caught early, conservative treatment can be effective and quickly restore oral health.
Treating Periodontal Disease
During routine dental visits, we perform a periodontal screening. If you are showing signs of gum disease, Dr. Marra will recommend periodontal treatment tailored to your individual oral health.
Recommended treatment is dependent on the stage of your gum disease and can often be as simple as a thorough dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. More intensive treatment can include:
Scaling and root planing: this intensive cleaning removes built up plaque from the gum line, tooth roots and deep pockets of the gums.
Antibacterial rinses: when appropriate, Dr. Marra may prescribe an anti bacterial rinse to be used between visits and reduce the level of bacteria present in the mouth, especially for patients with persistent gingivitis.
Laser dentistry: Dr. Marra may use a soft tissue laser to treat gum disease, often avoiding the need for oral surgery. Laser dentistry can remove diseased tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing response to restore health.
Gum surgery: when necessary in cases of very advanced gum disease or periodontitis, we may refer you to a local periodontist for treatment.
Benefits of Soft Tissue Lasers
When it comes to addressing damaged or diseased gum tissue, the development of soft tissue lasers for dentistry has dramatically improved both the patient experience and the end result.
Dr. Marra can use a soft tissue laser to accurately treat affected tissue with less discomfort, bleeding and down time.
Soft tissue lasers can also be used to address cosmetic concerns such as a “gummy smile” or teeth that appear to be too short- a process called crown lengthening. Dr. Marra can evaluate your concerns and discuss how laser dentistry can be an effective solution.