At first, some gum swelling or redness might not seem like a big deal. But if that redness and swelling persists and is accompanied by bleeding, it can signal an early form of gum disease. If your gums are swollen, bleed easily or have started to pull away from your teeth, one of the best things you can do is to schedule an appointment with a periodontist to get to the bottom of the issue and determine which gum disease treatment is best for your situation.
Several gum disease treatment options are available, depending on the type of gum disease and how far it has progressed. In its earliest stages, gum disease is reversible with treatment. In later stages, treatment can help to correct some of the problems caused by periodontal disease but won’t fully reverse the damage done. Here are a few treatment options for gum disease.
Cleaning the Teeth
Gingivitis, the mildest, earliest and only reversible form of gum disease, can often be corrected with a professional cleaning. During a dental cleaning, a dentist will remove tartar from the teeth and from below the gum line to help improve the health of the teeth and gums and to remove the source of inflammation and irritation.
After a professional dental cleaning, it’s important to keep up an oral care routine at home, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Your dentist might also recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash for further protection against gum disease.
In some cases, a typical cleaning might not be sufficient to reverse the gum disease. If that’s the case, a periodontist might perform a deeper cleaning, known as scaling and root planing. Other non-surgical treatments for gum disease include prescribing antibiotics to help clear up the infection.
If gum disease progresses to a more advanced form, the gums will begin to separate from the teeth, creating pockets. These pockets tend to accumulate bacteria, leading to further gum and bone loss. At that point, treatments that help to regenerate lost tissue are often recommended.
One such treatment is LANAP, or laser-assisted new attachment procedure, which is a treatment that helps to encourage the regrowth of bone and gum tissue. It works by killing bacteria in the area and stimulating the formation of blood clots to aid in the reattachment of bone and tissue to the teeth.
For many patients, LANAP is preferred over surgery because the recovery time is much shorter and the treatment itself is generally more comfortable. LANAP is also an appropriate option for people with medical conditions such as diabetes who might not be able to have periodontal surgery.
Gum Grafting and Restoration
Often, one of the lasting effects of gum disease is gingival recession. As a result of damage to the tissues from periodontal disease, the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving the roots exposed.
Gum recession can put a person at an increased risk for cavities and decay. It can also make people feel self-conscious about their smile. Since gums can’t grow back on their own, several treatments are available to help replace the missing gum tissue.
One option is the pinhole surgical technique, a minimally-invasive procedure that gently pulls the gums downward, covering up the roots of the teeth. Since the technique doesn’t involve incisions, healing is usually rapid and there is little to no bleeding involved.
Another way to restore receded gums is by grafting new tissue over them. Some periodontal specialists will harvest material from a patient’s mouth, usually from the palate, and position it over the gums to extend them. Another option is to use donated tissue for the graft.
Which gum disease treatment is right for you? It all depends on the stage of gum disease. Dr. John Paul Gallardo is a periodontal specialist in the Miami area who offers patients a number of different traditional and cutting-edge treatments for all stages of gum disease. He can recommend a treatment plan to address your specific concerns. To schedule an appointment in Miami, FL, call 305-547-8687 today.