Gum Disease Treatment/Prevention
With regular professional cleanings and close attention paid to brushing and flossing, most patients will enjoy good periodontal (gum) health for their entire lives. However, sometimes outside influences such as genetics, tobacco use, or diseases like diabetes can cause or accelerate gum disease.
The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis and has symptoms including red and swollen gums that tend to bleed easily. If you are experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Hoffmann will examine your mouth and make sure that you do not have any underlying problems that are causing the gingivitis. Then, to reduce the amount of inflammation in your gums, care will be taken to clean them and your teeth thoroughly.
If gingivitis goes untreated, it may progress to a more serious disease called periodontitis, which is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontitis occurs when the inflammation of gingivitis extends from the gums to the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. Without immediate treatment, this infection will cause the tooth to loosen and fall out, resulting in the need for dental implants, dentures, or bridges.
Dr. Hoffmann may use dental scaling to reduce the inflammation of periodontitis. In this procedure, he uses either a small scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner to remove tartar and plaque beneath the gum line. Periodontitis generally causes deep pockets between the gums and the teeth; once the bacteria is removed from these pockets, the gums can begin to heal. Dr. Hoffmann may prescribe various medications to facilitate healing and pain management, and will also schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor healing.
If scaling does not completely heal the gum pockets caused by periodontitis, or if your condition has progressed enough to warrant it, Dr. Hoffmann may prescribe antibiotic therapy in an effort to eliminate the bacteria that are causing the periodontitis.
Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Hoffmann may take a sample of the bacteria in your mouth and send it to a lab to determine which antibiotic will be most effective. Then, antibiotics will be administered, either systemically or locally. Systemic antibiotics come in pills that are taken for seven to 10 days. Local therapy is completed at the dentist's office and involves placing antibiotic materials directly under the affected gums.
Patients who avoid periodontic treatment for too long may lose their teeth and have to rely on replacement devices such as dentures or dental implants. Milwaukee- and Brookfield-area dentist Edward Hoffmann can help patients prevent the disease from progressing to this stage. Contact our practice today if you think you may be suffering from periodontal disease.