Interacting in social situations can be embarrassing if you have halitosis, also known as bad breath. In some cases, bad breath can be caused by gum disease. Gum disease ranges from a reversible condition known as gingivitis to an irreversible condition called periodontitis.
Unfortunately, gum disease is often a silent disease like diabetes or high blood pressure and does not cause any symptoms. Because of this, many people do not know they have gum disease! Sometimes, the only symptoms are bad breath or bleeding when brushing or flossing.
Because of the fact that gum disease is often a “silent” disease, at Red Rock Family Dentistry, we routinely screen for this issue by checking the health of the gums surrounding your teeth. If any bleeding or infection is detected, we will inform you and guide you in treating it.
Early intervention and therapy of gum disease is the best course of action and may prevent future tooth loss. The earlier it is detected, the more effective targeted therapy can be. Schedule a check-up to examine the health of your gums at Red Rock Family Dentistry by calling (405) 733-8136.
If infection is detected in your gum tissue during an examination, we will identify the extent of the gum disease. Depending on the severity, we will make our recommendation for moving forward with therapy.
If the disease is in the early stages, oftentimes, the best course of action is regular cleanings at our office and proper brushing and flossing at home. In the early stages, there has not been any irreversible damage to the gums and bone in your mouth, and you should be able to quickly nurse your gums back to health.
If your gum disease has progressed to the point where irreversible damage has been done to your gums and surrounding bone, typically we move forward with a treatment known as a deep cleaning. During this procedure, we remove plaque and tartar build-up that has accumulated beneath the gum tissue, as well as above the gum tissue. This build-up can no longer be removed by brushing and flossing, and is firmly adhered to the tooth. The only way to remove it is by a professional dental hygienist or dentist gently numbing the area and removing it. By removing the tartar build-up and freeing the gums of bacteria and toxins, the infection generally clears up.
Following a deep cleaning, you may notice that your mouth feels cleaner, has a better taste, and your breath has improved.
Please note that it is extremely important to continue with regular maintenance visits after a deep cleaning. Unfortunately, there is no cure for periodontal disease and it is crucial that we continue to manage the disease so that it does not repeat its course and become destructive to your gums and the bone surrounding your teeth.
Periodontal maintenance visits will be discussed with you following your deep cleaning. Depending on the severity of the disease, we may recommend 3-4 annual check-ups. During these visits, we check your gums to make sure they fall in healthy parameters and perform a thorough cleaning to free your mouth of harmful plaque and tartar build-up, which harbor bacteria and infection.
Fortunately, most of our patients who commit to regular maintenance visits are able to keep the disease at bay, and do not experience tooth loss.
If gum disease goes untreated, it will not heal on its own. Unfortunately, the damage will progress as the infection in your gums thrives, causing the bone and tissue surrounding your teeth to deteriorate. Without treatment, tooth loss may occur.
Please call to schedule a check-up to examine your gums and address any concerns you may have by calling us at (405) 733-8136.