Protect Your Gums, Protect Your Health
In dentistry, so much emphasis gets placed on the teeth that it’s easy for people to forget about their gums. Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is an infection of the gums and other structures surrounding the teeth, and it’s actually the most common dental problem in the entire world. Early symptoms are easy to miss and include red, swollen, or puffy gums that bleed whenever the teeth are cleaned, but they can become much more serious, eventually developing into the leading cause of tooth loss!
To prevent this disease from sneaking up on you, Dr. Thomas Redfern and our team will always keep an eye on your gums during your regular checkups. Should we see any signs of the infection, then we can quickly and effectively treat it using a range of treatments called periodontal therapy.
Periodontal Evaluations & Maintenance
As part of your regular checkup, both Dr. Redfern and your hygienist will examine the condition of your gums. They’ll check for redness, swelling, tenderness, and for the development of periodontal pockets (which are spaces between your teeth and gums where gum disease tends to thrive). If we’re able to catch gum disease early enough, we can typically control it using a kind of dental cleaning known as periodontal maintenance. It’s very similar to a routine cleaning, except that it’ll be slightly more focused on eliminating plaque and bacteria on your gums.
Scaling & Root Planing
If you are suffering from a more advanced case of gum disease, Dr. Redfern may choose to perform something called a “deep cleaning,” which will consist of two procedures known as scaling and root planing. They are intended to break up and clear away plaque and bacteria that has accumulated both near and under your gum line in order to stop the spread of periodontal disease.
Specifically, scaling will be used to clean the area around your gum line, and root planing will be used to clean the deep periodontal pockets. Root planing will also be used to smooth out the rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots so that plaque will be less likely to gather on them in the future.
As part of your periodontal therapy treatment plan, we will use a topical antibiotic called Atridox. Atridox is filled with a powerful antibiotic, and it will be applied directly to your infected gum tissue. There, it will harden into a waxy texture and slowly dissolve over the next 7 days. This will gradually release the antibiotic directly where you need it and allow it to reach even the deepest bacteria.
If your gums are red, tender, or if they bleed whenever you brush your teeth, you may already have periodontal disease. While you might be tempted to try and manage it yourself, it’s simply not possible to reach the bacteria located deep in your gum line with your brush and floss alone. The best way to stop the infection in its tracks is to call us. We’ll be able to quickly diagnose your problem and get to work treating it. To schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.