Gum disease is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that leads to inflammation and infection in the gums. Although reversible in its earliest stages (gingivitis), if left untreated, it can become a chronic condition (periodontitis) that can eventually affect your tooth roots, jawbone, and overall physical health. Timely periodontal therapy is a simple, affordable way to treat gum disease and guard against tooth loss and more costly restorative treatments. Healthy gums can also promote better overall health. Dr. James Slaman provides nonsurgical periodontal treatment at his Albuquerque, NM, practice through scaling and root planing to help treat symptoms and prevent further damage from occurring.
Why Periodontal Therapy is Important
Periodontal, or gum, disease, is most frequently seen in patients who smoke or use other tobacco products, have poor nutrition, suffer from bruxism, or practice poor oral hygiene. However, patients who brush and floss routinely can also develop this serious health condition if they are genetically predisposed. If you have a family history of gum disease, it is vital that you schedule regular visits with Dr. Slaman every six months for routine checkups and exams. These visits can aid in early detection of the disease and allow for treatment in its earliest stages.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
When gum disease is left untreated, it not only negatively impacts your oral health, but can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The most common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums, especially after brushing and flossing
- Dental sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing or biting down
- Tooth loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment right away. Delayed treatment for gum disease can result in further tooth degradation or tooth loss and lead to the need for more costly restorative treatments.
When gum disease is left untreated, it not only negatively impacts your oral health, but can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
Dr. Slaman will use the latest dental technology to provide effective diagnosis and treatment. With intraoral imaging, digital x-rays, and other technology, he will be able to detect the earliest stages of irritation and gum disease.
If gum disease is detected, Dr. Slaman may recommend scaling and root planing, also known as a deep cleaning. Before beginning treatment, we may first administer a local anesthetic with The Wand® to numb your gums. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Slaman or a hygienist will use special dental tools to remove plaque and tarter buildup from the base of the tooth and below the gum line. Then, we can apply an antibiotic ointment to the gums to help treat any remaining infection. For more severe cases of gum disease, Dr. Slaman may recommend WaterLase™ laser therapy to gently remove unhealthy soft gum tissue. By removing bacteria and damaged tissue, we can encourage your gums to reattach to your teeth for a healthier, lasting smile.
Restore Your Oral Health
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of gum disease, call our office at (505) 881-7586 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Timely periodontal therapy can help protect your oral health and restore your smile.