Gum Disease Therapy – Rochester, NY
Treating Gum Disease For a Healthier Smile
Are you one of the nearly 65 million American adults who has gum disease? Also called periodontal disease, this common condition damages the gums and underlying jawbone that support the teeth and keep them in place. But it impacts more than just your smile! In addition to being the leading cause of tooth loss, it also increases your risk of many serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and even some cancers. At Vollo Dental Group, we offer gum disease therapy in Rochester to reduce your risk of tooth loss and also improve your overall well-being. If you think your gums could use a little help, contact our office today!
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Aside from possible gum tenderness, you probably won’t feel much pain from gum disease. But there are still warning signs to watch for, including:
- Bleeding gums, which often occurs after brushing or flossing
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth or discomfort when chewing (which typically occurs in later stages)
- Gum recession
It’s a good idea to let us know if you notice any of these symptoms so we can examine your gums. Treatment is more effective in the earlier stages, so the sooner we can diagnose it, the better.
What Does a Gum Screening Involve?
As a dentist in Rochester, we include an annual gum screening with your checkups so that, when necessary, we can recommend therapy early on to get your gums back on track. These screenings are very simple and are done at every other checkup.
One of our hygienists will use a very small type of “ruler” (marked in millimeters) to measure what we call the pockets around each tooth. Normal pocket depths are 1-3mm, which allow you to easily access and remove much of the plaque that accumulates on a daily basis with your toothbrush and floss.
Pockets that are over 4mm indicate the presence of gum disease. At this depth, you aren’t able to adequately clean under your gumline, so bacteria build up that creates chronic inflammation or infection of the gums. Over time, the pockets become even deeper and it becomes a vicious cycle.
How Do We Treat Gum Disease?
The first stage of gum diseases, called gingivitis, can usually be reversed with good oral hygiene at home and regular cleanings. Once it progresses past this stage, however, it can’t be cured. But we can keep it from progressing with gum disease therapy.
Called scaling and root planing, or a “deep cleaning,” this therapy is usually done in 2-4 appointments, and most of our patients prefer to be numbed beforehand for comfort. Then one of our gentle, experienced hygienists will use special instruments to remove the plaque, tartar, and bacteria from under your gumline where we can’t quite reach during the course of a normal cleaning. We’ll also smooth the root surfaces of your teeth to prevent bacteria from accumulating as easily in the future.
Then, depending on your needs, we’ll recommend professional maintenance cleanings every 3, 4, or 6 months to keep your gums healthy. With regular visits and great oral hygiene habits on your part, you can avoid the many serious consequences that come with gum disease.