disease (periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues
and bones that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease can
vary from mild (gingivitis), which causes the gums to bleed
easily when brushed, to severe (periodontitis), in which the
bones that support the teeth are damaged and which can lead
to tooth loss.
disease occurs when the bacteria that are present in plaque
are allowed to accumulate on and around the teeth and gums.
Smoking or using spit tobacco greatly increases a person's risk
of developing gum disease.
for gingivitis includes improved brushing and flossing at home
and regular cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist. If gum
disease has advanced to periodontitis, the dentist will use
a method called root planning and scaling that removes plaque
and tartar build-up both above and below the gum line. Antibiotics
may be needed to help get rid of the infection. If gum disease
is severe, surgery may be required.
Disease - Treatment Overview
treatment of gum disease is very important. The goals of treatment
are to prevent gum disease from permanently damaging tissues,
control infection, and prevent tooth loss. For treatment to
be effective, you will need to:
Keep your teeth clean by brushing twice a day and flossing once
See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
• Avoid all tobacco use. Tobacco decreases your ability to fight
infection, interferes with healing, and makes you more likely
to have serious gum disease that results in tooth loss.
for early-stage gum disease
If you have early-stage, you may be able to reverse the damage
to your gums:
• Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime.
• Floss your teeth once a day.
• Use an antiseptic mouthwash, such as Listerine, or an anti
Our dentist will want to see you for regular checkups and cleanings.
Professional cleaning can remove plaque and tartar that brushing
and flossing missed. Once you have had gum disease, you may
need to see your dentist every 3 or 4 months for follow-up.
dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection.
They can be applied directly on the gums, swallowed as pills
or capsules, or swished around in your teeth as mouthwash. Our
dentist may also recommend antibacterial toothpaste that reduces
plaque and gingivitis when used regularly.
for Advanced Gum Disease
gum disease is not treated promptly or that does not respond
to treatment can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis requires
prompt treatment to get rid of the infection and stop damage
to the teeth and gums, followed by long-term care to maintain
the health of your mouth.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and
tartar both above and below your gum line. This procedure, called
root planing and scaling, makes it harder for plaque to stick
to the teeth.
• Your dentist may give you antibiotics to kill bacteria and
stop the infection. They may be applied directly on the gums,
swallowed as pills or capsules, or inserted into the pockets
in your gums.
• You may need surgery if these treatments don't control the
infection or if you already have severe damage to your gums
or teeth. Surgery options may include:
which removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get
rid of the pockets between the teeth and gums where plaque can
o A flap procedure,
which cleans the roots of a tooth and repairs bone damage.
to remove loose or severely damaged teeth.
After surgery, you may need to take antibiotics or other medicines
to aid healing and prevent infection.
After treatment, you will need to keep your mouth disease-free
by preventing plaque buildup. You will need to brush carefully
and thoroughly after all meals and snacks and floss daily. Your
dentist will probably prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash.
Your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments every 3 to
4 months for cleaning and to make sure that the disease has