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Periodontal Therapy – Green Hills, TN

Safe, Effective Gum Disease Treatment

Smiling dental patient

Gum disease is far more common than you probably think; over half of adults over 30 in the United States have some form of the condition. If it’s not treated, you could lose your teeth, and your overall health could suffer. Luckily, Dr. Kirby can use periodontal therapy to treat the disease and save your smile. If you believe your gums are infected (or if it’s been more than six months since they were examined at a preventive checkup), call us to schedule an appointment today.

What is Gum Disease?

Inflamed gums

Gum disease (often called “periodontal disease” by dentists) is when the tissues that hold your teeth in your mouth become infected. The cause is usually bacteria in your mouth that hasn’t been removed by brushing or flossing; other risk factors include smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes in women, dry mouth, and certain illnesses that weaken the immune system.

The earliest form of gum disease is gingivitis. If it isn’t treated, it eventually becomes periodontitis. At that point, you’ll be in danger of losing your teeth. Furthermore, patients with gum disease have been found to be at a higher risk for heart attacks, respiratory illnesses, and Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, if you don’t get treatment quickly, the long-term consequences could be very severe.

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Man rubbing mouth

Unfortunately, gum disease is often silent. That means you might not even notice the symptoms until you’re in the more advanced stages that are much harder to treat. Dr. Kirby can examine your gums during your biannual dental checkups; that way, he’ll be able to find warning signs you might have missed and take the appropriate preventive actions.

That said, possible warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen and tender gums
  • Bleeding whenever you clean your teeth or eat hard food
  • Gums that are pulling away from your teeth, causing them to look longer
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Sores in the mouth

Periodontal Treatment Options

Scaling and root planing

There are plenty of choices when it comes to safe, effective periodontal therapy. Depending on the situation, we might suggest:

  • More Frequent Cleanings: Sometimes, all it takes are a few extra dental cleanings each year (along with good oral care at home) to stop gum disease from progressing further.
  • Scaling: For more advanced gum disease, we can remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth along with infected gum tissue.
  • Root Planing: Usually performed alongside scaling, this is where we smooth the roots of your teeth to make it harder for plaque to build up on them in the future.
  • Antibiotics: Sometimes we’ll prescribe antibiotics along with other kinds of treatment to stop the bacteria from spreading.
  • Laser Therapy: We can use a dental laser to remove infected gum tissue. This kind of treatment is more precise than traditional surgery, bleeding and pain are limited, and overall recovery and healing times are shorter.