Kyle Taylor, DDS

Tranquil Bay Dental

2415 Penny Road Suite 203

High Point, NC 27265

336-884-8989

At Deep River Pointe

Gum Disease Therapy

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease) Diagnosis and Treatment

illustration of a healthy tooth and tooth with gum disease, plaque, gingivitis, periodontis

Do you have swollen or tender gums that bleed if you floss or brush too closely? Are some teeth beginning to loosen or separate?  Has there been a change in your bite? Or has it simply been more than 2-3 years since you saw a dentist for a thorough evaluation? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you may have mild, moderate, or even severe gum disease.

What is gum disease (aka periodontal disease)?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. Called periodontal disease by dental professionals, it is often painless until it has wreaked severe havoc on your teeth. Think of the telephone pole in the ground. If we removed a couple of wheelbarrows full of dirt a day from around the pole, what would eventually happen to it?

So it is with how periodontal disease affects your teeth. The main difference is that with the telephone pole the damage is openly visible. With periodontal disease, we have a cover in place hiding the damage—the gum tissue!  In fact, instead of the gums initially receding, they do the opposite; they enlarge with inflammation and bleed more easily.  There is little doubt that if the gums were transparent and people could witness the bone destruction around the teeth, more patients would seek care for their periodontal disease.

Treating Periodontal Disease

If left untreated, gum disease may lead to pain, tooth mobility, and tooth loss.  Unfortunately, people with chronic, untreated gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart disease. Luckily, there are effective treatments for gum disease, although, the success of any dental treatment is dependent on how well the patient cleans (brushing and flossing) his or her teeth at home.

Gum disease is treated in one of two ways: Non-Surgical and Surgical.

Early gum disease may be treated non-surgically. This type of treatment involves cleaning out pockets of hard and soft deposits that have formed in the gums next to the teeth below the gum line. We call that procedure Scaling and Root Planing, though many patients refer to it as “Deep Scaling” or “Deep Cleaning” (though it is a true therapy, not just a cleaning). In conjunction with this therapy and at the same appointment, our office often utilizes Arestin.  This FDA-approved antibiotic powder that is easily placed below the gum line, fights the bacteria that causes periodontal disease for up to 21 days, during this critical period of recovery of the gums. Often, medical insurance covers all or most of the cost of an Arestin application.  Learn more at www.Orapharma.com

Other aids such as rinses and specialized home care products may be used as a part of treatment.

When gum disease is severe or has not responded to non-surgical therapy, the patient may be referred to a periodontist (gum tissue specialist) for surgery to eliminate the gum pocketing.

Pic of an apple with heart shape - hearth health linked to dental healthGum Health, Heart Disease, and Other Health Concerns

Many of us have also seen the articles and news stories about possible relationships between gum health and overall health, as relates to heart disease and even some forms of cancer.  Learn more at www.perio.org.

If it has been too long since you have seen your dentist or hygienist, please call us for a thorough evaluation to help ensure you keep your smile and your overall health protected from this hidden threat.

To find out more about the correlation between periodontal disease and overall health, visit these websites:

www.perio.org
www.americanheart.org
www.adha.org
www.time.com
www.orapharma.com
www.healthywomen.org

We specialize in gum disease diagnosis and treatment of such conditions as gingivitis and periodontal disease in the High Point, NC area. Please call us today at 336-884-8989 to discuss your dental needs. We are conveniently located in the High Point, Piedmont, Triad, Deep River area of North Carolina.