Patients often overlook their gums, but gum health is essential for a healthy smile and a healthy body. For example, doctors link gum disease to a number of medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Managing gum health and even gum disease is an important service in our Virginia Beach dental practice.
We offer periodontal screenings at every exam to look for signs of gingivitis and gum disease. If you have signs of gum disease, we can offer a wide range of treatment options to treat and control infection. When caught early, gum disease is an easily treatable and even reversible dental concern. It is important to treat gum disease in its early stages to prevent progression to periodontitis, which is more difficult to treat.
Treatment For Gum Disease
The sooner you seek treatment for gum disease, the more conservative your treatment options are. There are two key stages of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis. Each stage can have a progression of symptoms. Typically, patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated.
Dr. Cappy Sinclair and Dr. Mark Reichley use laser dentistry to aid in periodontal therapy. These high-powered instruments allow them to provide more comfortable and conservative treatment for gum disease. The Waterlase dental laser enables them to treat and repair damaged or diseased gum tissue that may have previously required oral surgery.
Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, is an inflammation of the gums. It is common for people with gingivitis to experience bleeding gums when brushing their teeth or flossing. During gingivitis treatment, the dentist removes plaque from exposed parts of the teeth and gums.
Your dentist may recommend antibacterial rinses and other aids to use at home to reduce inflammation and cure gingivitis. Patients with recurring gingivitis may benefit from more frequent teeth cleanings in our dental office.
If you have periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, it can cause permanent damage to gum tissue and weaken the teeth. You may need to get a more intensive treatment. We can provide scaling and root planing to help you alleviate the symptoms of periodontitis. Scaling and root planing are procedures that clean the deep pockets of the gums to remove bacteria and debris. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is often a “silent disease” because there may be no obvious symptoms until it reaches the advanced stages. The most common signs of gum disease include the following:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum pain and sore gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Tooth discoloration
- Pain when eating or brushing your teeth
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Change in the fit of dentures
How to Prevent Gum Diseases from Occurring
Gum disease is an infection in the gums that can cause tooth loss if you do not address it in time. There are a couple of things that you can do if your gums bleed regularly and you think you are on the verge of developing gum disease. The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss every single day. If you don’t like using floss, try an interdental cleaner or brush.
Also make sure you’re visiting our dentist or dental hygienist regularly for check-ups and cleanings! During check-ups, our dentist can also check for early signs of gum disease. This will help us provide you with early and non-invasive gum treatments and prevent more serious problems.
Additionally, try to avoid using tobacco products, as they can increase your risk of gum disease. Smoking can irritate gum tissue and impair the healthy function of gum and bone tissue. It decreases the flow of saliva, which helps neutralize acids and remove food particles from your mouth.
Lastly, eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks and drinks. These foods can stimulate the production of plaque which leads to tooth decay, swelling of the gums, gum recession, and eventually gum disease. In addition, the sticky residue from sugary snacks and drinks can get stuck between your teeth and gums and cause further gum irritation.
If you notice any symptoms between dental visits, such as persistent bad breath, bleeding gum tissue, tender or swollen gums, and/or receding gums, request a visit with our dental care team today.
Gum Disease FAQs
Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause severe damage to your gums and teeth. However, with the right information, you can take steps to manage this issue and repair your gums before it’s too late. The following are answers to some of your questions regarding this silent disease.
Is it normal for my gums to bleed when I brush my teeth?
No. Bleeding gums can be due to a number of things, such as poor oral hygiene, brushing too hard, infrequent brushing, certain medications, gum disease, or a Vitamin K deficiency.
While overaggressive brushing or flossing can cause bleeding gums, it is more often the case that bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. Pregnant women more frequently experience bleeding gums because of changes taking place in the body. However, routine visits are important for everyone at every age. If you have bleeding gums, tell your dentist as soon as you can.
Can gums recover from gum disease?
Yes, but not without medical intervention. If your dentist catches the issue early, he can reverse the effects of gingivitis. Once it progresses into further stages, patients should be aware that the disease is no longer curable. While gum disease is not curable, your dentist can treat it and manage it with proper dental care. With the right treatment plan and regular check-ups, patients suffering from gum disease can recover their gums and avoid further damage.
Is gum disease permanent?
No, dentists can help you reverse gum disease using appropriate treatments. However, gum disease can become very severe and cause permanent damage to the soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth if you do not address it in time.
Our dentist can treat and reverse the first stage of gum disease if caught early. As the disease progresses, it can become permanent. A dentist or periodontist can treat the next three stages, but cannot reverse advanced periodontitis. You may require gum surgery or other intense forms of treatment for advanced periodontitis.
Can saltwater rinse heal gum infection?
Saltwater rinse can help heal and soothe gum infections! Saltwater rinse is a popular home remedy for treating gum infection. People use it to help reduce inflammation and promote healing of the gums. The salt in the water helps to draw out bacteria and other toxins from the infected area, while also providing antiseptic properties that can help kill off any remaining bacteria.
The best way to create a saltwater solution is with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. The salt and warmth help soothe gums and gradually clear out the infection. Saltwater rinse can also be a preventative measure against gum disease, as it helps to keep the gums healthy and free from infection. So if you are suffering from gum infection, saltwater rinse may be an effective treatment option for you.
Schedule A Dental Exam & Periodontal Consultation
Your gums can recover from gum disease. Treatment involves controlling the infection with early diagnosis, medications, and better oral hygiene. With proper care and routine dental visits, we can successfully treat inflammation in the gums and around your teeth. If you are searching for a dentist who treats gum disease near Norfolk, VA, Chesapeake, VA, or Virginia Beach areas, contact our office today. Schedule an appointment to learn what the best treatment option for you is.