Many people only hear about gum disease in toothpaste commercials, but this infection is actually the most common oral health problem in the world, and it’s even the leading cause of adult tooth loss here in the US! Dr. Laster and our team take gum health very seriously, so if we see red, swollen, or tender gums during a patient’s checkup, we’re ready to provide targeted treatment right away. Be sure to give us a call if you’ve already noticed these symptoms in your own household—early treatment is the best way to prevent the problem from becoming worse!
In most cases, gum disease is caused by a buildup of tartar (hardened plaque) on the teeth below the gum line, which exposes the nearby soft tissues to bacteria that irritates and inflames them. With scaling and root planing, we cannot only remove these harmful deposits, but we can prevent them from forming again by gently reshaping the roots of the teeth. Similar to a traditional dental cleaning, this procedure can typically be completed over the course of one to four appointments depending on the extent of a patient’s infection.
Between your teeth and gums, there are extremely small spaces called periodontal pockets, and these are where gum disease bacteria primarily like to gather and multiply. Because they are very hard to clean conventionally, our team uses antibiotic therapy to clear them of any bacteria missed by scaling and root planing. A topical medicine is applied directly to the gums where it quickly dries, and over the next week or so, it slowly dissolves so it’s able to seep deep within the pockets and restore a patient’s oral health.