Gum disease remains a leading cause of tooth loss in adults today and is largely preventable with good oral hygiene and routine dental care. Dr. Ken Schweifler offers personalized dentistry for your oral health needs and periodontal therapy to address the symptoms of gum disease.
Why is gum health important?
The gums play two important roles in both oral and overall health:
- Supporting healthy and stable teeth: the gums serve as the support structure for the teeth and nourish the tooth roots to maintain a stable and healthy smile.
- A barrier for unhealthy bacteria: harmful bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream when gum tissue is compromised by infection. This has been shown to increase the risk of internal inflammation, a component of cardiovascular and systemic diseases.
Dr. Schweifler and our dental care team place an emphasis on the maintenance of gum health and screen for the signs of developing the disease during routine dental exams and hygiene appointments. When caught early, we can often address the effects of gum disease with conservative measures. Gum disease is progressive and if not addressed in the early stages will continue to impact your dental health and weaken both gum tissue and the stability of the bite.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease has two distinct stages each of which is characterized by certain symptoms. Being aware of common symptoms and of your unique risk factors can help you to avoid the effects of a periodontal infection.’
- Gingivitis: the beginning stages of gum disease, gingivitis is typically characterized by gums that bleed, are red, or swollen.
- Periodontitis: This is advanced gum disease and can include more noticeable symptoms such as shifting of teeth, pockets forming around tooth roots, and changes in the fit of the bite.
Treatment for Gum Disease in Los Altos, CA
Dr. Schweifler will provide the appropriate treatment for your periodontal concerns after a thorough evaluation of your oral health. There is a range of options for addressing the symptoms and effects of gum disease. It is also important to take into consideration any lifestyle habits, medical conditions, or other factors that increase your risk of gum disease. Treatment options can include:
- Antibacterial rinses: for gingivitis and mild symptoms of gum disease, at-home use of an antibacterial rinse can help to minimize infection and prevent the progression of the disease.
- Scaling and root planing: thorough, deep cleaning of all tooth surfaces and along the gum line may be necessary to remove a growing infection and allow tissues to heal.
- Oral surgery or laser gum therapy: for advanced disease where gum tissue is severely compromised, Dr. Schweifler may coordinate treatment with a local specialist. Dr. Schweifler may follow up with additional restorative procedures as needed to address tooth damage.
Periodontal Treatment FAQs
Can children develop gum disease?
Yes. No one is impervious from gum disease, gingivitis, and advanced periodontitis. Children with poor oral hygiene or high rates of tooth decay are susceptible to developing gum disease early on in their life.
Is gum disease reversible?
Yes, gum disease is reversible and can be easily treated by our dentist. If caught in the early stages, we can cure your gum disease in just a few dental visits. Advanced periodontitis may need more dental visits to reverse its effects but is still curable.
Can bleeding gums be cured at home?
You can take steps to stop the progression and reverse the effects of gum disease at home, but only a dentist can diagnose and fully cure your issue. You are more likely to rid yourself of gum disease if you take action as soon as you notice bleeding gums.
Is periodontal therapy treatment expensive?
Periodontal treatments are not that expensive and are usually covered by dental insurance plans. This restorative dental service is a necessary part of maintaining excellent oral health.
Schedule A Dental Appointment
If you have concerns about the health of your gums, schedule a visit to our Los Altos dentist office with Dr. Schweifler. We can provide dental care that is individualized to your needs for a lasting outcome. Contact our office at (650) 489-4620 or request an appointment online.