Up to 80% of the population has some form of gum disease but are not aware of it. Gum disease is a persistent bacterial infection surrounding one tooth or several teeth. The disease is caused when bacteria (found in plaque) produces toxins and enzymes that irritate the gums causing inflammation and infection. For more information on Gingivitis, watch the video below.
what does gum disease look like in your mouth?
- Swollen gums
- Dark build up between teeth
- Bleeding gums when you floss
- Constant bad breath
- Loose teeth
what can be done to treat gum disease?
We believe that the daily treatment and removal of oral bacteria and plaque are both key strategies to maintaining a healthy mouth. Dr. Neely and her team will help you find the right “tools” to help combat periodontal disease in your mouth. We do not nag “FLOSS FLOSS FLOSS” if that does not work for you. 40% of the tooth is in between the teeth, and Dr. Neely, & Eryn the Hygienist, want to help you get to those areas. Watch the home care videos below for more information.
Regular checkups greatly increase your potential for early detection and conservative treatment which is non-surgical. We assess the severity of your condition by measuring the pocket depth around every tooth with a periodontal probe. A healthy pocket (around every tooth) is typically 3mm deep or less. The greater the pocket depth, the more severe your periodontal disease is. When the pocket attracts tartar, food particles, or bacteria inside of it (like a splinter), the gums and bone pull back off of the tooth root. Your body can’t fight this infection with the “splinter” stuck to the root. The resulting condition is a deeper and deeper pocket. This ensures a progressive breakdown of the tissue and bone. Check out the Periodontal disease video below for more information.
- Healthy Gums, Stained Teeth
We use Air Polishing to remove stains on the teeth. The powder formula helps desensitize the root surface. We also have traditional prophy paste with different formulas to treat sensitivity.
- Gingivitis, early phase of periodontal disease
Initial Periodontal Therapy (IPT): If it has been over a year since your last cleaning and you have gingivitis, we often need to have an initial appointment to remove the buildup. This is accomplished with ultrasonics and we’ll lavage the area with therapeutic rinses. The hygienist reviews and alters your home care system and will have you use an antibacterial rinse for 2 weeks. At the second appointment, we air polish your teeth. Some patients can then return every 6 months for a cleaning, but some require more frequent appointments to reduce the amount of bacteria and tartar build up.
- Periodontal Disease
Active Periodontal Therapy (APT): If the disease progresses to cause deeper pockets, we will need to numb the area to remove the bacteria. This is called scaling and root planning. We use ultrasonics to remove tarter, plaque, and bacteria. We will work with you to find a technique that you are able to do at home. Often, we look at diet, vitamins, oral rinses, probiotics, and xylitol to add to home care.
Supportive Periodontal Therapy (SPT): The bacteria that is removed from the pockets recolonizes (builds back up) in about 90 days. Therefore, after scaling and root planning, we recommend a maintenance appointment every 3 months. For more details, watch the scaling and root planing video below.
Home Care Video
Periodontal Disease Video
Scaling and Root Planning Video