Periodontics and Gum Therapy in Post Office Square, Boston, MA
The gums, ligaments, and bones surrounding your teeth are called the periodontium. If these structures are not healthy, you have a condition called periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease. This disease jeopardizes your oral health, as well as your general health. Thankfully, your Post Office Square dentist can provide gum therapy treatments that can restore your dental health and save your teeth.
Signs of Gum Disease and Why It Is Important to Catch Early
The signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Random bleeding (more progressed disease)
- Sore, tender gums
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Puffy, swollen gums
- Bite changes
- Bright red or very dark (almost purple) gums (instead of a healthy pink)
- White bump on your gums (abscess)
- Pain or discomfort when chewing
- New spaces in between your teeth
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums, which make your teeth look longer than they used to
How Gum Disease Starts
Gum disease starts very easily with plaque build-up. If the plaque is not removed consistently or thoroughly, it will start to build up. Eventually, it will calcify and harden into a substance called calculus or tartar. When it reaches this stage, it is impossible to remove without specialized dental tools.
Bacteria thrive in plaque and irritate the gum tissue. Your gums will start to feel sore and puffy, and they might bleed when you brush or floss. As the plaque and tartar continue to build up on the tooth, they soon fill the gum pockets around the teeth, further irritating the tissue.
Over time, the gum pockets get deeper, and the tissue starts to recede. Eventually, the ligaments around the roots of the teeth will detach, and the bone will start to recede as well. The teeth will look longer and start to feel loose.
Why It Is Important to Catch Periodontal Disease Early
Without treatment, gum disease will result in tooth loss. In fact, it is the number one cause of tooth loss.
You can prevent the loss of your teeth depending on how progressed the disease has become.
If your Post Office Square dentist can catch the disease in the first stage (gingivitis), they can completely reverse course and attain healthy gums again. Beyond this stage, though, gum disease is irreversible. Thankfully, we can arrest it or stop it from progressing. Depending on what stage your disease is in, we can completely reduce the risk of gum loss. Or, at the very least, we can reduce the number of teeth that need to come out.
Another reason we want to diagnose and treat gum disease in the early stages is that it can contribute to poor general health. In the past few decades, multiple studies have found that gum disease is directly linked to:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Respiratory diseases
Gum Therapy in Post Office Square – How We Treat Gum Disease
If you receive a gum disease diagnosis, take heart. It does not automatically mean you will end up with loose or missing teeth.
We can perform a variety of gum therapies to arrest the disease and improve your oral health.
Deep Dental Cleaning
A deep dental cleaning is a non-surgical periodontal treatment method. You will be numb for the procedure, at which time we will clean one to two quadrants of your mouth. The hygienist will clean all the way down to the base of the gum pocket, removing all debris, plaque, and tartar.
After your gum pockets are thoroughly cleaned, we can administer direct antibiotic treatment. We do this with the aid of a tiny plastic tube/needle that fits into the pocket and delivers the ointment, or we can place the ointment in a tray that covers all the teeth and gums.
Another option for patients with severe gum disease or an excessive number of bad bacteria is at least one round of oral antibiotics.
In severe cases of gum disease, we can perform periodontal surgeries to reshape, restore, or regenerate the bone or gum tissue that has been damaged by the disease.
Always Committed to Preventing Disease
If possible, we want to help you prevent gum disease. That is why we recommend twice-annual visits for a professional dental cleaning and check-up with a Post Office Square dentist. These regular visits will help us catch problems early, so you do not have to suffer the symptoms and consequences of gum disease.
Are you worried you might have gum disease? Contact us at (617) 426-6011 to schedule a comprehensive evaluation.