Gum Disease Treatment
What is Gum Disease?
At Lenny Slepchik D.D.S, we know that if gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to very serious health problems. Periodontal disease is an indication of many serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, premature births, low birth weight and more.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
An unfortunate aspect of gum disease is that in most cases it did not have to happen. Gum disease starts with simple gum irritation, clinically known as gingivitis. This occurs when a person’s home hygiene is not adequate, as plaque starts to make its way under the gums. This irritates your gums. Plaque is the film that forms on the teeth throughout the da, consisting of bacteria, bacterial waste products, food residue, and saliva. When you brush and floss you remove the plaque. Then it starts to rebuild, only to be removed again when you brush your teeth. If your home care is not done correctly or is not done daily, plaque can develop beneath the gum line, which is very irritating to your gums.
This is the first sign of gum disease, which can be easily reversed. You’ll need to keep up with your recommended professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Slepchik and our team. Dr. Slepchik and your hygienist may recommend some root scaling after your hygiene assessment.
However, if you ignore the bleeding gums and the bright red colour that should be pink, and if you don’t step up your brushing and flossing, the plaque won’t go away. If left in place, the plaque hardens into tartar, causing more persistent irritation. As the tartar pushes farther under the gums, the gums pull away in reaction. This creates “periodontal pockets,” perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Now you have full-blown periodontal disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease?
In the beginning stages, some people are unaware that they have periodontal disease. This is because there are usually no symptoms such as pain to indicate that they have it. Gum disease varies from minor in its early stages to severe when diagnosed late.
Early periodontal disease can be controlled if treated properly and followed up with frequent maintenance visits, so that the bacteria causing disease is eliminated periodically. Severe periodontal disease can also be treated but is much less predictable and may cause tooth loss; eventually you may possibly need tooth replacement.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Gum Treatment with Dr. Slepchik?
Gum disease isn’t like many other diseases where you’re going through life and then one day, boom, you have the disease. Gum disease gives you warning signs as it is developing. You’ll see the following:
- Gums that bleed when brushing your teeth
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Deep pockets between the teeth and the gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in bite
If you have any of these signs, Dr. Slepchik needs to see you, as you need gum treatment now to keep the periodontal disease from advancing. The end result of gum disease is complete tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, and dentures.
How Does The Gum Treatment Work?
Your hygienist may use local freezing of the gum tissue which works well for 95% of the patients, allowing them to return to their regular activities with no numbness after their appointment. In some cases, when the patient is overly sensitive or just extremely anxious, Dr. Slepchik will use the gentle automated freezing Dental Vibe with the Wand system to freeze completely the whole area. No matter the freezing system that is most convenient, the patient can return to normal activities immediately after the appointment.
Dr. Slepchik’s Patient Testimonial
Said to a new patient coming from a long time patient leaving our office after his appointment ~ “You are very lucky to have found this dental office. I have been a patient of Dr. Slepchik for 35 years and have only wonderful things to say.” ~ F. L.
What is A Deep Cleaning?
Your deep cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar using an anesthetic to make sure you are comfortable. Usually, it takes from 3 to 5 visits, and during each appointment, the deep cleaning is done for one-quarter of the mouth. You may elect to do 1 complete side of the mouth at a time in 1 appointment. This means you will be here for 2 hours; one hour of time is needed for 1/4 of the mouth. This allows your hygienist to take her time and go at a slower pace so that you are comfortable. If you need a break during your appointment, please tell us.
This treatment is the easiest and simplest approach to control periodontal disease. It is a nonsurgical procedure that will prevent more aggressive treatment in the future while helping you maintain your dental health. This treatment, along with a 3-month dental cleaning, will keep the levels of the disease-causing bacteria under control. This prevents further harm to your gum tissue and the supporting bone area. We have seen excellent results in many of our patients. It is also highly possible to avoid more complicated and costly surgical procedures.
Gum Disease Treatment Before & After
Will Periodontal Disease Return after Treatment?
Once bacteria have invaded the gum tissue as well as the connective tissue holding your teeth in place, you’ll now need to be extra vigilant in your home hygiene. You must watch for signs of renewed gum inflammation. Our deep cleanings and other gum treatments are very effective in treating this problem. Be sure to see us regularly for your professional cleaning and exam. In the initial couple of years after your gum treatments, we may ask to see you every three months. That way Dr. Slepchik and your hygienist can check to verify that your periodontal disease remains under control.
How Do I Maintain My Results after Gum Treatment?
As mentioned above, it’s likely that you had the beginnings of gum disease due to poor home hygiene. But this doesn’t have to continue. You can easily keep your gums and teeth in great shape with a good home hygiene program.
This is what you need to do:
- Brush twice daily using a toothpaste approved by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). This toothpaste should have fluoride in it. Brush for two minutes. This can seem like an eternity if you’ve been a quick brusher, but it is the time to fully clean all your teeth, your gum line where the teeth and gums meet your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Better still, get one of the CDA approved electric toothbrushes. They are proven to provide better cleaning, especially for people who are prone to poor hygiene habits. They even have timers to tell you when you’ve brushed for two minutes!
- Floss once a day. Everyone says they floss, but for many that’s only lip service. Flossing is important. Flossing helps remove plaque and food caught in between the teeth and just under the gums. Take 18 inches of floss, wrap it around both index fingers leaving a couple-inch gap, then move up and down the sides of each tooth, taking the floss slightly under the gums.
- Use a mouthwash. Mouthwashes aren’t only about “minty fresh breath” any longer. Today there are a variety of CDA-approved mouthwashes that help kill bacteria. Some have active ingredients to specifically help with gum disease. You’ll usually use these twice a day after brushing.
What Is Recovery and Aftercare Like with Gum Treatment?
That depends on the procedures that were necessary. For instance, if you had a deep cleaning, also known as root scaling and root planing, this is a relatively simple procedure where we remove tartar and plaque from under your gum line, and then smooth the surface to help the gums attach back to the root surface. This doesn’t require any post-treatment care, other than better home hygiene moving forward.
Other more involved procedures, such as soft tissue grafting or flap surgery, involve more attentive care during recovery to be sure to keep the infection from returning.
We’ll explain what you need to do in detail after our gum treatments, as your involvement will be necessary if your mouth is to return to good health again.