Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy smile. Periodontal health is an important aspect of our practice. Dr. Shawna Hoffert offers a wide range of treatments to keep your gums healthy and your smile looking beautiful.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may be sore, swollen and bleed easily. Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and may eventually lead to tooth loss.
The American Dental Association estimates that as many as 3 out of 4 adults are affected by some form of gum disease. In addition, gum disease has been linked to a number of other major health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy related complications such as low birth weight. You can prevent gum disease by adopting healthy home care habits which include brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
What Causes Gum Disease?
There is no single cause or factor for gum disease. Common factors that contribute to gum disease may include family history, tobacco uses, hormonal changes (as in pregnancy), poor nutrition and inadequate oral hygiene. Other factors that can contribute to gum disease are teeth grinding, crooked teeth and missing teeth.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums
- Sore gums, red gums or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Persistent bad breath
Treatment for Gum Disease
Dr. Hoffert will recommend a periodontal therapy based on your condition. Treatment may include:
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is an intensive dental cleaning procedure for patients with early signs of gum disease (gingivitis). Dr. Hoffert will use a special technique to remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gums.
If you are showing more advanced signs of gum disease, Dr. Hoffert may recommend treatment with laser dentistry. The soft tissue laser carefully targets diseased gum tissue, cauterizing it with a sterile beam of laser energy. Bacteria is killed instantly, preventing the spread of gum disease.
For patients who need special care or have advanced periodontitis, Dr. Hoffert may coordinate treatment with a periodontist who can perform surgical treatment. If teeth are missing because of gum disease or if an extraction is needed, Dr. Hoffert will present a treatment plan that includes options for replacing the tooth (or teeth) with a dental implant, bridge or denture.
Cosmetic Gum Treatments
Cosmetic gum surgery, also known as a gum lift, is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. This treatment can have a dramatic effect on your smile, especially if you have a “gummy” smile. Using laser technology, Dr. Hoffert carefully removes gum tissue and contours the gum line to expose more tooth structure. A gum lift is usually completed in one office visit.