Are your gums red, swollen, and easily bleed? Do you constantly have bad breath? Are your teeth loose or even separating? If so, you may have developed gum disease. This condition is an infection to the gums caused by the plaque bacteria. It can result in severe damage to gum and bone tissue, so it is important to treat it as soon as possible. Here are a few treatment options to gum disease:
- Cleaning Your Teeth: Because plaque causes gum disease, it makes sense to go to the source and clean it off. If you are still in an early stage of gum disease (gingivitis), then cleaning your teeth may reverse it. Your dentist will perform a professional cleaning, which you need to keep up on afterwards by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Scaling: A more advanced stage of gum disease (periodontitis) often requires further treatment besides a professional cleaning. Dental scaling involves the removal of plaque and the hardened version of it called tartar (which cannot usually be removed with a toothbrush).
- Root Planing: Gum disease often causes the gums to pull away from teeth, exposing the roots and creating pockets that collect bacteria and plaque. Root planing smooths down the root of the tooth to prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque.
- Antibiotics: Your gums are experiencing bacterial infection which the use of antibiotics can stop. Antibiotics help control the infection and get rid of the bacteria that cause it.
- Advanced Treatments: If periodontitis is very severe, then more extreme treatment options may be necessary. These treatments include tissue and bone grafts, tissue regeneration, and flap surgery.