Gum disease involves an infection of the tissue around your teeth. You don’t notice pain with gum disease, so that makes it hard to identify when there is a problem. Here are signs you should look for:
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that pull away from your teeth
- Red, swollen gums
- Teeth that become loose
- Teeth that no longer mesh together when you bite down
Certain behaviors and factors increase your risk of developing gum disease, including diabetes, family genetics, lack of oral hygiene, pregnancy, smoking, and the use of some prescription medications. When gum disease is present, there are a number of treatments your dentist can offer, depending on the severity.
Receding gums do not have to be linked to gum disease. While gum disease is a leading cause of receding gums, people who aggressively brush their teeth are also at risk. Aggressive brushing may be caused by pushing down too hard or by using medium or hard bristles instead of soft bristles.
AlloDerm is a form of soft tissue grafting that doesn’t require grafts to be taken from the roof of the mouth. With the AlloDerm treatment, your periodontist uses donated human tissue that LifeCell Corporation processes to remove any donor cells or possible viruses. All donors are tested for diseases first to ensure the safety of the tissue. That regenerative tissue is then used in soft tissue grafts to replace your receding gums.
After a graft, you are given antibiotics and pain relief. Surgical dressings may be put in place to protect the graft. You cannot chew or brush the teeth along that area until your periodontist says it’s safe to do so. Until then, you’re given a mouth rinse to help kill germs and bacteria.
During a gum grafting procedure, strips of tissue are taken from the roof of the mouth and grafted to the areas where the gums have receded. The graft eventually heals and becomes part of your normal gum line. Some gum grafting procedures use grafts that are treated with platelet rich plasma.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
The Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®) is a minimally-invasive treatment for gum disease. There are three distinct benefits that include little discomfort, no incisions or stitches, and shorter treatment times. Following a LANAP®, you need just 24 hours of recovery time, so you don’t have to take time off from work or disrupt your usual routine.
During the procedure, the laser removes bacteria and affected tissue from pockets in the gums. Tartar is also removed. The laser goes back over the area to stimulate blood clotting to prevent the issue from reoccurring. Soft tissue is reattached to the bone. The bite is adjusted as necessary. From there the tissue and bone growth occur on their own.
Caught early enough, there are non-surgical treatments that can help reverse gum disease that leads to receding gums. Typically this includes a thorough cleaning to remove plaque and tartar deposits that are below the gums. Antibiotics, antibiotic gels, and anti-microbial oral rinses help slow bacterial growth. Some periodontists use oral chips that are implanted in the treatment area and slowly absorbed by the body to control any infection while the gum heals.
Learn more about gum disease at the American Dental Association. If you suspect you have gingivitis or receding gums, give Florida’s Gallardo & Lamas Periodontics and Implant Dentistry a call. Dr. Gallardo and Dr. Lamas specialize in gum disease treatment in Miami and offer non-surgical and surgical procedures. Schedule a consultation by calling (305) 447-1447 or filling out the online request form.