Gum disease…. No one wants to hear these words from their dentist. Unfortunately, though, many patients do. When gum disease strikes, Highland Dental in St. Paul, MN can provide the treatment you need to restore your oral health.
Highland Dental, Top Dental Practice for Gingivitis Treatment
Gum Disease is Nothing to Smile About
Gum disease, more formally known as gingivitis or periodontal disease, is an infection that develops along and below the gum line, causing inflammation, bleeding, tenderness and other symptoms. Often, the early signs of periodontal disease are barely noticeable, but as the infection progresses, the consequences of gum disease on your oral health become more and more serious. Gums will begin to recede, and in the most severe cases, it can lead to tooth loss.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The vast majority of people develop gum disease due to years of poor oral hygiene — not brushing and flossing daily and not visiting their dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Harmful bacteria accumulate along the gum line, forming plaque and tartar that, if not removed, irritates the soft tissues around teeth. Over time, gums become red, inflamed, and begin to separate from teeth, leaving deeper pockets for the harmful bacteria to breed, until eventually teeth become loose and fall out or need to be extracted.
Did you know…
Hormonal fluctuations, for example during pregnancy, can make some women more susceptible to gum disease. Just one more reason to stay on top of your oral hygiene and not to put off routine checkups!
Dr. Brooks Can Treat Gum Disease
Fortunately, gum disease is treatable, especially when detected in the early stages. Dr. Brooks is skilled in various periodontal treatments, including:
- Scaling and Root Planing – this deep cleaning procedure is performed under local anesthesia and involves scraping below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar. Afterwards, the tooth enamel is left smooth, which helps gums heal and reattach. The smooth surface also makes it harder for plaque and tartar to re-form on the teeth.
- Flap Surgery – when other treatments are unsuccessful, this surgical procedure can save your gums. During surgery, gums are lifted back, and plaque and tartar are removed. Rough surfaces on the tooth roots and along the gum line may also need to be smoothed out to keep bacteria from sticking to them. Gums are then sutured back in place so that when they heal they are once again snug against your teeth.
Remember, the best defense against gum disease is good oral hygiene — including regular checkups at Highland Dental. Dr. Brooks knows what to look for and can detect periodontal issues before they become real threats to your oral health. In the very early stages, a change in your oral health routine and more frequent professional dental cleanings may be all you need to treat gum disease. However, when this does not work, Dr. Brooks will recommend more complex treatments to restore your oral health.
Some patients come to us because they are unhappy with the way their gums look. They may be uneven or too prominent. For these patients, we offer cosmetic gum contouring to reshape the gum line for a more uniform and pleasing smile.
Gum contouring is a surgical procedure that Dr. Mark Brooks performs in the office for patients who want to improve the ratio of teeth to gums or want their gum line to be more even. Gum might also be performed as part of a treatment plan for periodontal disease.
The procedure can usually be completed in a single visit, but total treatment time varies case by case. Dr. Brooks will fully explain your personalized treatment recommendation beforehand, so that you know exactly what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
If you are concerned about periodontal disease and have questions about treatment options, or would like to improve the appearance of your smile with gum contouring, contact Highland Dental in St. Paul, MN to schedule your consultation with Dr. Mark Brooks.