Periodontal disease, also simply known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection that attacks gum tissue in the mouth. It’s a common dental problem for most people, occurring at some point in life for a variety of reasons. However, a buildup of plaque on and between teeth is usually to blame. If left untreated for long, it can result in serious oral health issues. Hence, treating gum diseases at the earliest stage is crucial.

What can Cause Gum Disease? There are a number of causes of gum diseases. Some of the common influential factors include:

Certain types of medication. Hormonal imbalances during puberty. Hormonal changes during pregnancy. Diabetes and other medical conditions. Smoking. GERD. Dry Mouth.

Stages of Gum Disease

stages of gum disease

  • Gingivitis
    This is a mild and reversible form of gum disease, which generally happens when plaque accumulates on tooth surfaces close to the gum line, or in the spaces between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach properly.
  • Periodontitis
    This is the advanced and more destructive form of gum disease, which can lead to irreversible damage in the gum tissue and supporting bone structure. If it’s left untreated for too long, periodontitis can cause tooth loss.

At Michael G. Long D.D.S., we can provide you with professional advice for preventing the onset of gum disease as well as treating any existing symptoms of the condition.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned below, it is possible that you have gum or periodontal disease and don’t know about it:

  • Swollen and tender gums.
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • Pus between teeth and gums.
  • Loose and separating teeth.
  • Bad taste even after brushing.
  • Improper bite.
  • Receding gums and sensitive teeth.
  • Accumulated plaque and tartar between teeth and gums.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

Depending on how far the infection has progressed as well as the health of your teeth and gums, Dr. Michael Long and his staff can provide different types of periodontal treatments. These include preventative and non-surgical procedures to reduce bacterial growth, as well as restorative surgical treatment for gum tissue, teeth and bone affected by periodontal disease.

Non-Surgical Procedures

  • Scaling
  • Root Planing
  • Professional Dental Cleaning

Surgical Procedures

  • Flap Surgery: In this procedure, the gum is lifted, and tartar is removed. The process of smoothening the rough edges of the bone limits areas for the disease-causing bacteria to hide. The gums are then placed so that the tissue can hold onto the tooth firmly. The process reduces the size of the space between the gum and teeth which in turn decreases the areas where disease-causing bacteria can grow and decreases the chance of health problems which can happen due to periodontal disease.
  • Soft Tissue Grafts: This procedure helps to strengthen thin gums and fill in the places where the gums have withdrawn. The tissue which is grated is taken from the roof of the mouth and stitched in the affected area.
  • Bone Grafts: This is rather a complex procedure as it uses fragments of your bone or donated bone or even synthetic bone. The graft acts as a medium for the regrowth of bone which restores tooth stability. Tissue engineering helps your body to process and redevelop bone and tissue quickly.
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration: If the supporting teeth have been damaged, then this procedure is done to stimulate the growth of bone and gum tissue in that area. The procedure is performed in combination with flap surgery. A small mesh-like fabric is implanted between the bone and gum tissue. This does not restrict the growth of the gum tissue and bone in the area but rather helps the connective tissue to regenerate with better support.

Dr. Long can help you reduce your risks of gum disease and improve overall oral health, so that your teeth and gums stay healthy at every stage of life. Call us at (559) 432-4850 to book an appointment today!