Non-Surgical Gum Treatment in Post Office Square, Boston, MA
When the structures of the periodontium – the gums, ligaments, and bone surrounding the teeth – are not healthy, it jeopardizes the health of your teeth. Thankfully, with proper gum treatments, it may be possible to return these tissues to their healthy state.
What You Need to Know About Gum Disease
The periodontium can be compared to the foundation of a house. A bad foundation puts a home in danger of collapse. Similarly, unhealthy periodontium – the foundation of your oral health – puts you in danger of tooth loss and dental pain.
What Is Gum Disease?
Disease of the periodontium is called periodontal disease, or more commonly, gum disease. This disease starts with bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria live throughout the mouth but congregate in the plaque. If the plaque is not removed daily, more bacteria will accumulate, irritating the gum tissue and causing an inflammatory response.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most common signs of gum disease are:
- Bright red or dark gums
- Swollen, irritated gum tissue
- Tender or sore gums
- Some bite pressure sensitivity
- Funny taste in the mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- Bleeding when flossing or brushing
- Teeth that look like they are getting longer
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the position of the teeth or the patient's bite
How Your Post Office Square Dental Team Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Regular dental cleanings in Post Office Square are one of the best things you can do to prevent gum disease. In addition to professional dental cleanings every six months, good home care is essential. We always take the time needed to educate our patients on the best home care practices, including which products and tools to use and how to use them.
What Is Non-Surgical Gum Treatment in Post Office Square?
If a patient has not been to the dentist for regular cleanings, has an overabundance of certain bacteria (Treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis), or does not practice proper home care, they can develop gum disease.
Oftentimes, when this happens, we can treat the gum disease with non-surgical treatment options. The most common ways to do this include deep dental cleanings and local antibiotic treatment. In some cases, we may need to prescribe oral antibiotics as well.
Deep Dental Cleaning
To clean your teeth thoroughly, we need to see you for two to four appointments. Cleaning by quadrant (upper left, lower left, upper right, lower right) gives our hygienist time to clean every surface of the tooth, removing all signs of plaque and tartar (calcified plaque).
Our hygienist will start by numbing the teeth and gum tissue of one or two quadrants of your mouth.
Then, using hand scaling instruments, as well as an ultrasonic scaler, they will remove plaque, tartar, and debris.
The hygienist will clean the gum pockets around the teeth, cleaning as far down as the base of the pocket. That is the only way to help restore the health of the gum tissue and ligaments and encourage the pockets around the teeth to tighten up again.
Once you have had a deep dental cleaning, you will need to return for maintenance cleanings every three to four months to keep your periodontal disease at bay.
Local Antibiotic Treatment
After each deep cleaning, our hygienist will assess your gum tissue and the depth of your gum pockets. The deepest pockets, as well as any areas that are extremely inflamed, need antibiotic therapy. We can do this in two different ways.
The first is via a delivery system that looks like a small needle. We insert the small tube into the gum pocket and delivery a gel-like antibiotic ointment into the pocket.
Another way to deliver antibiotics is in a tray. The tray looks like whitening trays. We place the antibiotic gel in the trays, which hold the gel in place, allowing it to penetrate the gum tissue and pockets.
What Happens If Periodontal Disease Is Not Treated Right Away?
The first stage of gum disease – gingivitis – can be reversed. All other stages can only be arrested.
Unfortunately, if the disease is too severe, it often means there is not enough bone structure or ligaments remaining to support the teeth. The teeth will become loose and will eventually need to be extracted.
In some cases, surgical periodontal treatments may be able to prevent tooth loss.
Discuss the Pros and Cons of Gum Disease Treatment Options with Your Dentist
If you are diagnosed with gum disease, your Post Office Square dentist will create a treatment plan with the best options for your needs. Our dentists will discuss all the pros and cons, explain why you are or are not a good candidate for certain procedures, and help you choose an option that will restore your oral health.
Worried you might have gum disease? Contact us right away at (617) 426-6011.