Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, begins as gum inflammation, or gingivitis. Gingivitis is marked by red, swollen, and irritated gums or bleeding gums after you brush or floss. As gingivitis progresses, it becomes periodontitis.
Dr. Sulekha Agrawal treats gum disease in Columbia, MD. She works with her patients to help them discover the right options that target their dental problems. Treating gum disease helps to restore the smile as well as the health of the teeth and gums. Periodontal therapy ultimately prevents complex problems such as gum recession and tooth loss.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
Patients are more prone to developing gum disease if they have:
- Poor oral hygiene: By brushing and flossing daily and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams, you can prevent gum disease. Patients are more likely to develop gum disease if they don’t maintain their oral health at home or do not visit the dentist regularly.
- Smoking and tobacco products: Smoking or using tobacco products can prevent your body from effectively fighting off potential gum infections. It also negatively impacts the immune system.
- Dry mouth: If you have dry mouth, you do not produce enough saliva. Patients with dry mouth are more prone to gum infection as saliva washes away bacteria.
Treatments for Gum Disease
There are a variety of common treatments we may recommend to treat gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Antibacterial Rinses: Antibacterial rinses are best for patients in the early stages of gum disease. These rinses can stop the spread of infection and stop gum inflammation and irritation.
- Scaling and Root Planing: Both of these treatment methods are used in tandem to clean the gums. Scaling scrapes away plaque and tartar build-up from above and below the gum line. Root planing removes the infection from the roots and also smooths them down so they can reattach to teeth.
- Laser Dentistry: Dental lasers use light and heat to remove gum infection. Laser dentistry can recontour the gums.
- Oral Surgery: Patients in the most advanced stages of gum disease require oral surgery to restore their damaged gum tissue. We may recommend a specialist if you require more complex surgery.