Electric toothbrush buyer's guide

Gum Disease Treatment

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a major cause of tooth loss. Brushing after every meal and flossing every day are important to keeping your teeth and gums strong. But if gum disease does occur, unless you have regular dental checkups, you may not be aware of it until your gums and bones have been seriously damaged.

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Often painless, it may develop slowly or rapidly. It can occur at any age. It's even possible to have gum disease and not have warning signs! However, the following symptoms of gum disease are common—if you experience any of these, see your dentist immediately.

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any changes in the fit of partial dentures

During your checkup, we use diagnostics to check not only your teeth but your gums and bones. If gum disease is diagnosed, we will offer you treatment and/or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease.

Gum disease treatment methods depend upon the type and stage of the gum disease. The first step is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gumline. The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface, allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, your occlusion (bite) may require adjustment. Laser therapy and/or antibiotics or irrigation with antimicrobials (chemical agents or mouth rinse) may be recommended to control the growth of bacteria. These gum disease treatments can be quick and comfortable, even during healing. Following therapy, you may need to schedule more frequent hygiene visits.