Everything About Treating Gum Disease

Everything About Treating Gum Disease

Feb 01, 2021

Periodontitis is a serious dental disease that can cause complications if not treated.  This disease leads to gum tissue damage. If not treated on time, gum disease can destroy the jawbone leading to tooth loss.  The good news is that gum disease is preventable through proper oral hygiene.

Most patients who get this disease fail to observe proper oral hygiene. Your dentist will put you on a treatment plan once they diagnose you with periodontitis. Understanding the causes, symptoms risk factors, and treatment of periodontitis is important. It will help you know when to see a dentist for a check-up if you suspect gum disease.

What Causes Periodontitis?

The main cause of this disease is plaque.  There are however other factors that can lead to periodontitis.

Some Illnesses

Illnesses that can affect your gums can end up causing gum diseases.  Patients with diseases like HIV, cancer, and diabetes are at a high risk of developing gum disease.  This is because these diseases interfere with the immune system.

Hormonal Changes

There are hormonal changes in the body during puberty, menopause, and pregnancy.  Gums are usually sensitive when these changes occur. This makes it easier for infections to attack the gums and cause gum disease.

Bad Habits

Your gum tissue won’t be able to repair itself if you smoke. This can lead to infections causing gum disease. Quitting tobacco use reduces the risk of developing periodontitis.

Certain Medications

Some medications interfere with the flow of saliva in the mouth. If there is less saliva in the mouth the gums and teeth won’t have enough protection leading to infections. Anticonvulsant and anti-agina medication can interfere with the gum tissue leading to abnormal growth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failure to adhere to a strict oral hygiene routine can cause periodontitis.  If you fail to brush and floss your teeth regularly there will be plaque buildup which leads to gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

These are some of the symptoms of periodontitis you should look out for.

  • Bad breath
  • Pain while chewing
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums feel tender to touch
  • Swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Periodontal Treatment

Treatment for gum disease calls for oral surgery.  The stage of the infection usually determines the type of treatment the dentist will choose. These are some available treatment options for this disease.

Tooth Scaling and Root Planing

This is a two-step periodontal treatment procedure.  The first procedure involves scraping off the tartar buildup on your teeth. Our dentist will scrape off the tartar below and above the gumline. In the next procedure, the dentist will smoothen up your tooth root to prevent bacteria from collecting and causing tartar buildup.

Flap Surgery

The dentist will recommend flap surgery if the infection persists.  A periodontist will remove tartar from the pockets around your teeth.  To prevent the issues again, the periodontist will stitch up the pockets so that the gum tissue sticks to the teeth. Flag surgery makes it easier to floss and brush your teeth.


In severe cases where the bone and tissue have been damaged grafting is necessary.  The periodontist will use bone and tissue grafts to replace damaged tissues and bone.  Guided tissue regeneration is the technique we use to treat the damaged bone and tissues.  This technique will help the tissue re-grow without expanding into the bone space.

Doxycycline Gel

This is an antibacterial gel that can kill bacteria and seal the pockets caused by gum disease.   After tooth scaling and root planning our periodontist will apply the gel to the pockets. The doxycycline gel will work by releasing the antibacterial slowly over the next few days.

Preventing Periodontitis

It is possible to prevent gum disease by keeping your gums strong and healthy through proper oral hygiene.  This is important as periodontitis can cause tooth loss among other serious complications. Regular dental visits are also important in preventing gum disease. The cleanings and exams performed during dental visits will prevent plaque buildup. It is important to note that you will need to visit the dentist more often if you have any risk factors.

Risk Factors

These are risk factors associated with periodontitis

  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition and vitamin C deficiency
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Diseases like cancer and HIV
  • Gingivitis
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