Gum Disease Therapy

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease

Periodontal Disease is an infection and inflammation that affects the tissues and bone that support your teeth. It’s also called gum disease.

A surprisingly wide variety of bacteria are normally found in your mouth. When certain types of bacteria outgrow the others, this starts the process of gum disease.

When your gums are healthy, your gum tissues tightly hug each of your teeth. When you have gum disease, your gums pull away from your teeth. As the gum disease gets worse, the tissues and bones that support your teeth become damaged. Over time, your teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.

What is the connection between gum disease and other health issues?

Gum disease has been linked to some other diseases. People with diabetes or heart disease are more likely to get gum disease. Strokes and high stress also may be related to gum disease. Researchers are still studying these links.

It is important to talk to your dentist if you suffer from any long-term health problem. Together, you can work out an oral care plan for your best oral and overall health.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

If you notice any of the signs below, see your dentist. However, you can have gum disease and not notice any of these warning signs. That is why regular dental checkups are very important.

• gums that bleed when you brush or floss
• gums that are red, swollen, puffy, or tender
• gums that no longer hug your teeth tightly
• bad breath that doesn’t go away
• pus between your teeth and gums
• feeling that your teeth are loose
• a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
• a change in the way your partial dentures fit

What Causes Gum Disease?

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that is always forming on your teeth. Bacteria that live in the plaque can make your gums become red, puffy and swollen. When plaque is left on your teeth and gums, it hardens. Hardened plaque is called tartar and can only be removed when your teeth are cleaned in the dental office.

When your gums are red, puffy and swollen, they can start to pull away from your teeth. Spaces called pockets start to form between your gums and teeth. These pockets give bacteria a place to collect and grow. The bacteria in your pockets will cause your gum disease to get worse. These bacteria produce toxins, which causes your body to break down the gum tissues and bone around your teeth.

 

 

Stages of Gum Disease:

Healthy Gums
Your teeth are held in place by gums, bone and connective tissues. Your gums tightly hug your teeth and there is little or no buildup of plaque and tartar on them.

Gingivitis
The bacteria in plaque make your gums red, tender and swollen. Your gums might bleed at this stage. You can also have gingivitis and not have any signs of it.

Periodontitis
In time, your body responds to the toxins that the bacteria produce by breaking down the gum tissues and bone around your teeth.

Advanced Periodontitis
Your teeth become loose or fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Loose or missing teeth can create problems, like making it hard for you to eat the foods you like.

Deep Cleaning – Scaling and Root Planing

If your gum disease is beyond gingivitis, the first step in treating gum disease usually involves a special deep cleaning called scaling  and root planing. This treatment may be done over more than one visit, depending on your personal needs.

Scaling: Your hygienist removes plaque and tartar down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket.

Root Planing: Then, the root surfaces of your teeth are smoothed, or “planed”, to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth.

Our dentists or hygienists may recommend certain medicines to help control infection and discomfort or to aid healing. You may be given pills, a mouth rinse or they may place medication directly into the periodontal pocket after the treatment.

Keep your Gums Healthy After Treatment

Periodic periodontal cleanings help you stay on top of your gum disease

Once your gum disease is under control, it is very important for you to get dental care on a consistent basis. The periodic cleanings recommended after these treatments are called periodontal maintenance care. These cleanings are more extensive than the standard cleaning and will help you keep your gums healthy. Your periodontal maintenance involves cleanings that are deeper than a normal cleaning in the dental office. With periodic maintenance, the amount of plaque bacteria is lowered. Then, the inflammation can get better, pockets can shrink and your gums can become healthier.

Your gum disease won’t go away on its own

Once your gum disease is brought under control, it is very important that you get dental care on a periodic basis. You have a better chance of keeping your teeth if you do. Your gum disease may get worse if you don’t!

Plan for more visits to the dentist & hygienist

You will need to see your dentist & hygienist more often than other people. The pockets and other issues from your gum disease will make it harder for you to clean plaque from your teeth.

Your hygienist will talk to you about a treatment plan that works best for you, they will recommend a maintenance care schedule that is based on your personal case. Over time, fewer appointments may be necessary. Once your gums are healthy, your hygienist will determine a maintenance schedule based on your clinical evaluations.

Once your gums are healthy, your hygienist will determine a maintenance schedule based on your clinical evaluations.

Medication

You may also need special medications than can help control the infection and pain or to help your gums heal. The medicine could be a pill, a special mouth rinse, or a medication that your hygienist places directly into the pocket right after deep cleaning.

You may have sensitive teeth and gums after your treatment

Your teeth and gums may be sensitive after your treatment. This soreness may make you want to avoid cleaning the treated areas. But it’s important to follow your hygienists instructions on home care! If plaque is not removed, root decay may form. Talk with your dentist or hygienist if a special toothpaste or other treatments can lower your tooth sensitivity.

Keep up your oral care at home

It is very important that you brush and floss every day – especially if you are healing from gum disease.

• Brush two times every day for two minutes each time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps keep teeth strong.
• Clean between your teeth every day to remove plaque and bits of food from in between your teeth.
If your gums have pulled away from your teeth, it may be best to use special tiny brushes, picks or wider types of floss and picks to clean between your teeth.
• Your dentist & hygienist may also recommend regularly using a specific mouth rinse.

 

 

Click here for gum disease stage pictures

©2019 American Dental Association

Keeping Ahead of COVID-19

Providing a safe environment for treatment and control for infectious disease is always a priority at Paul Stanovick DDS. Our expansive reception area and large outdoor deck provides space to easily support regulations surrounding social distancing. The treatment rooms provide an extra layer of protection as they are sanitized between each patient and provide clean air through air purifiers located in each room. We encourage that all patients schedule for their essential or ongoing treatment. Proactively treating your dental needs will benefit both your health and reduce the need for corrective treatment over time. We do ask that any high-risk patients postpone any elective dental treatment at this time. You will see some changes during your next appointment as we have added precautions to protect patients and staff. All patients will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 screening form as well as have their temperature taken. You will be asked to enter the building with use of facial protection and asked to wear it until you are in the treatment room. Hand sanitizer is also available throughout the whole building for your use. You may notice that our magazine and children’s books have been removed from the reception area as they are harder to disinfect. We have installed plexiglass around our front reception area for added distancing between front staff and patients waiting for appointments. Air purifiers have been placed in every operatory with two larger purifiers in the front and back of the office. We have provided face shields, lab jackets and barrier gowns for all clinical staff. Our hours of operation will still remain Monday -Friday 8am-5pm. We are trying our best to re-appoint patients that missed March 2020 & April 2020 dental appointments. We are looking forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about treatment and the safety precautions we are taking here at the practice. If you would like to make an appointment you can give us a call or text 804.781.1919. Thank you for your patience during these changing times and for your trust in us with taking care of your dental needs. Sincerely, Dr. Paul Stanovick, Dr. Brant Stanovick, and Staff.