Gum Disease Treatment
Dr. Davis takes the treatment of gum disease very seriously especially as gum disease has adverse consequences to dental and general health. In this commitment, once gum disease is present, Dr. Davis' goal is to provide the most advanced methods of treatment to his patients. The topic of gum disease is complex. There are many ways that people can discuss gum disease.
Gum disease is actually periodontal disease. In fact, it is more appropriate to refer to gum disease as periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases affect the tissues that support and anchor the teeth. If untreated, a progression occurs wherein there is a destruction of gum and a loss of bone and the outer layer of the tooth root. The end result is loss of tooth/teeth.
More commonly, periodontal disease (usually discussed as periodontitis) is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by bacterial infection. Herein, the gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces, called pockets, which become infected. The body's immune system responds to fight the bacterial infection and unfortunately this protective mechanism becomes destructive in that it starts to break down the bone and connective tissue that holds teeth in place, such that, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed and teeth become loose and may fallout or have to be removed.
What Causes Gum Disease?
In reference to periodontitis it is for the most part preventable. It is usually the result of poor oral hygiene with a failure to brush twice daily and to floss daily at minimum and to have regular dental cleanings which without periodontal disease is usually every 6 months or 2 times per year.
The process begins when plaque forms. Plaque is a sticky film composed mainly of bacteria and it forms on your teeth when starches and sugar foods interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. Plaque must be brushed and flossed off teeth. Failure to brush and floss plaque will within 2 to 3 days harden under your gumline and turn into tarter also known as calculus which is hard to remove. You cannot get rid of tarter (calculus) without professional dental cleaning.
The longer plaque and tarter (calculus) stay on your teeth the more irritated and inflamed the gingiva (gum around the base of the teeth) becomes. This is what is referred to as gingivitis which is the mildest form of gum disease. Left to progress then pockets form as a result of the plaque and tarter and bacterial buildup and the bacteria deposit endotoxin (by product of the bacteria's own metabolism).The pockets get bigger with more bacteria buildup and the destruction of gums and bones occurs and then there is loss of tooth/teeth.
What Factors Increse the Risk for Gum Disease?
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Use of Tobacco
- Poor Nutrition
- Older Age
- Decreased immunity that can occur with diseases such as Leukemia or treatments such as with Cancer.
- Poorly Fitting Dental Restorations
- Poor Bite
- Certain Medications
- Hormonal Changes including Pregnancy or Menopause
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Swollen Gums
- Red Gums
- Gums that bleed when teeth are brushed and/or flossed
- Sensitive Gums
- Receded Gums
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- New spaces developing between teeth
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Change in how teeth fit together when biting
How is Gum Disease Diagnosed?
- Clinical observation of the infected gums
- Examination of the mobility of the teeth
- Measurements of the size of the pockets between the gums and teeth
- Xray imagery to observe the loss of bone
Complications beyond the mouth linked with Gum Disease?
- Heart Disease (coronary Artey Disease)
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Premature births and low birth rates
- Respiratory Problems
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- More frequent cleanings
- Scaling and Root Planing followed by Diode Laser Treatment.
Scaling removes tarter and bacteria from the tooth surfaces beneath gums and is done with ultrasonic scalers and hand instruments.
Root Planing smooths the root surfaces to help prevent further buildup of tarter and bacterial endotoxin.
Diode Laser treatment for decontamination or elimination of bacteria from pockets, for curettage or the elimination of granulation tissue, bacterial products and ulcerated areas to create a clean and even epithelial lining without tissue tags (epithelial remnants) and for biostimulation to start the healing process.
- Recommendation of Antibiotic Oral Rinse
- Insertion of Antibiotic Gel in the space between your teeth and gums or pockets
- MI Paste or Fluoride Gel
- Soft toothbrush or sonicare tooth brush or sonicare airflosser or water pik with pik pocket tips aids
- Compliance with 3 Month Recare Regime
- Flap Surgery this is a pocket reduction surgery where gum tissue is lifted back and the underlying bone is recontoured then the gum tissue is sutured back in place.
- Soft Tissue Grafts small amount tissue from the palate (roof of the mouth) or another donor site is removed to reduce gum recessed site.
- Bone Grafting small amount of bone (your own or synthetic or donated) is placed in destroyed bone area surrounding the tooth root and is done to help prevent tooth loss due to bone loss.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration biocompatible fabric is placed between the existing bone and the tooth where bone loss is to prevent unwanted tissue from entering the healing area and to allow bone to grow back instead.
- Enamel Matrix Derivative Application gel containing proteins found in developing tooth enamel is placed at the diseased tooth root to stimulate the growth of healthy bone and tissue.
Prognosis depends on level of periodontal destruction and level of treatment elected and consented to and treatment healing result. Prognosis also depends on patient participation in future recommended treatments as needed and with taking recommended on-going measures in stopping the progression of periodontal disease.
Dr. Davis is committed to preventative and comprehensive dental care.
Remember prevention of gum disease is better than dealing with periodontal disease. Prevention must involve brushing two times per day and daily manual flossing with proper flossing technique, use a soft toothbrush (replace every 3 months or if any cold or illness sooner), having routine 6 month professional dental cleanings and examinations and dealing with any bite issues. However, if you do encounter gum disease, do not put off dealing with treatment measures because it will not get better without intervention and it isn't just your dental health but possibly your general health that will be adversely affected. Feel free to call our office to learn how we can be of assistance to you. Contact the office of Dr. John M. Davis III, D.D.S. at (954) 941-3003.
Dr. Davis' office, located in Pompano Beach, FL, serves patients locally in South Florida as well as those that travel to visit him from throughout the United States and internationally. Dr. Davis' office is within short driving distance from Fort Lauderdale, Lighthouse Point, Deerfield Beach, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Parkland and Boca Raton.