Gum Disease Therapy
Gum disease is a pervasive condition with consequences for your oral and overall health.
How pervasive is it?
According to some estimates, a majority of the population unknowingly has some form of it. That's why routine checkups and cleanings are important for anyone over the age of four. Visiting our Happy Valley office twice a year will give your hygienist an opportunity to assess not only the health of your teeth but the health of your gums as well.
Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
Gum disease comes in two different forms. The first, known as gingivitis, can often be reversed through a combination of cleanings and attentive care at home.
If gingivitis isn't treated, it can escalate into the second form, known as periodontitis. Not only is periodontitis more serious, it also can't be fully treated; it can only be managed.
If periodontitis isn't treated, a range of complications can occur, including gum loss and tooth loss. In fact, periodontitis is the number of reason for tooth loss in adults.
Advanced periodontitis has even been linked with other serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Pre-term delivery in pregnant women
Symptoms of Gum Disease
During the early stages of gum disease, patients may experience few, if any, symptoms. Once the disease develops, though, certain symptoms will become more pronounced.
These symptoms include:
- Redness or swelling
- Bleeding when you brush and floss
- Frequent bad breath
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gingivitis can typically be treated with a combination of dental cleanings and thorough care at home. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is often addressed non-surgically with a pair of services known as scaling and root planing. An antibiotic may also be used to increase the effectiveness of scaling and root planing. Other cases may require a more invasive surgical procedure.
With every patient, Dr. Howe or Dr. Donnelly will make an educated recommendation based on both your medical history and your specific dental needs. If you have questions about the plan we recommend, we'll be happy to answer them during your consultation. Our Happy Valley team is dedicated to giving patients the quality care they need to treat or manage gum disease.