What is the Best Way to Treat Gum Disease?

What is the Best Way to Treat Gum Disease?
Author: Espire Dental Posted: August 3rd, 2023 Category:

Think you have gum disease? Don’t worry! Gum disease sounds scary, but it’s an easily treatable dental condition. 

How often do you think about your gums? Probably not too often, but you should! The health of your gums is just as crucial as preventing tooth decay. And just like cavities, gum disease is a common dental problem. In fact, periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums, affects nearly half of all adults 30 and over, rising to 70 percent for those 65 and older.

But the good news is that gum disease is curable in its earliest stage. Yet even as it advances, gum disease can be successfully managed. But to get treatment, you must first know how to recognize the signs of gum disease so you and your dentist can start therapy and get your oral health back on track.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease results from a continual buildup of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and gums. If the bacteria and plaque aren’t removed by regular cleaning, the two substances become hardened tartar, which attaches to the gum line. Over time, the combination of bacteria, plaque, and tartar weakens the gum tissue and the bone supporting the teeth. 

The main cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene. However, some individuals are predisposed to periodontitis or have a health condition, such as diabetes, that raises their risk of gum disease. Smoking is another significant risk factor.

Periodontal disease progresses through four stages, with each having distinct symptoms:

Gingivitis. The earliest stage, gingivitis, is marked by sensitive, bleeding gums. The gums may appear swollen and red. When caught at this point, gum disease can be reversed with proper treatment.

Mild periodontitis. If gingivitis advances to mild periodontitis, noticeable gaps may develop between the gums and teeth. The bone supporting the teeth may begin to erode.

Moderate periodontitis. The gradual weakening of the bone and gum tissue progresses. Gums become more sore and tender.

Severe periodontitis. If not treated by this stage, gum disease may result in pockets of infected pus along the gum line. Bone loss continues, and teeth may become loose and possibly fall out.

How to treat gum disease

In addition to being a severe dental issue, gum disease has been linked to other health issues, such as heart disease. In addition, bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause a severe infection known as sepsis. 

Don’t let it get to that point! With early intervention and treatment, which may include several home-based therapies, you can ward off severe stages of gum disease. For example, you can soothe inflamed gums and reduce bacteria with warm water and salt. Or you can make a mouthwash of herbal blends, such as lemongrass and aloe vera. For each concoction, dilute lemongrass essential oil or pure aloe vera juice in water, swish in your mouth, and spit out the solution.

However, home remedies cannot replace these professional treatments that can cure or effectively manage gum disease:

Scaling and root planing. In this non-surgical procedure, plaque and bacteria are scraped from the tooth and root surfaces. This treatment can reverse gingivitis.

Periodontal pocket reduction. Also known as flap surgery, this therapy involves making an incision in the gums and then folding back the gums. This allows the dentist to remove the bacteria from the tooth and gums thoroughly. The gums are stitched together and reattach to the bone.

Gum graft. Tissue from the roof of your mouth or a donor covers the area of gum recession. 

Bone graft. Like a gum graft, bone lost to gum disease is replaced with bone-grafting material.

Abscess drainage. If an abscess forms on the gums, your dentist may drain the infected bump and clean the area. Abscesses typically develop in more advanced stages of gum disease.

While treatment is necessary to reverse and manage gum disease, you can take steps to prevent the condition. Brushing and flossing daily, limiting sweets, and quitting smoking can all keep gum disease at bay. And don’t forget those semi-annual dentist checkups! Those visits allow your dentist to spot and treat gum disease at the earliest date.

Time to check your gums!

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Oklahoma City, OK, location today! Our highly trained dentists can protect and improve the health of your gums with treatment. Don’t live near our Oklahoma City, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Oklahoma City, OK
12448 St Andrews Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120