Dr. Engelhardt, Dr. Slootmaker, and Dr. Ralston are happy to offer gum disease treatments to help you restore your oral health and smile after you’ve fallen victim to gum disease. If you have any questions or if you’re interested in any of these treatments, please call Engelhardt & Associates at 970-484-4890. We look forward to hearing from you!
Non-Surgical Gum Treatments
The foundation of your teeth includes the gums, ligaments, and bone. Together these structures are called the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it puts the teeth at risk—just as a poor foundation for a house will threaten the stability of the house. Signs of an unhealthy periodontium, which is often gum disease, are: gums that are red, gums that bleed easily, persistent bad breath, receded gums (gums that have pulled away from the teeth), loose teeth, and changes in the position of the bite or the teeth. With the proper care, there is a chance you can regain your oral health. This is when appropriate gum treatments come in handy. If you’re having an issue, make sure to come to Engelhardt & Associates as soon as possible.
Radiographs, which are also known as X-rays, are a necessary part of the diagnostic process. Taking X-rays will help us make images of the teeth, tooth roots, and underlying bone. Because of advanced technology, taking an X-ray uses 50-70 percent less radiation compared to typical radiographs. Thanks to imaging software technology, digital radiography lets us enhance the images for more accurate diagnoses.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, which is also known as gum disease. Plaque and its toxic by-products irritate the gums, which makes them sore, swollen, and likely to bleed.
Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and it involves plaque hardening into calculus, which is also known as tartar. As tartar and plaque build up on the teeth, the gums start to move away. Then, deep pockets form between the gums and teeth and bacteria and pus begin to fill those pockets. The gums become very irritated and swollen and they often bleed. Some bone loss may occur.
Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease. As the disease continues to destroy the gums, bones, and periodontal ligaments, the teeth lose more support. At this point, the teeth can become very loose to the point they might be lost. This is if you don’t treat the disease in a timely manner. Moderate to severe bone loss may occur.
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the disease. After your dentist and hygienist evaluates your smile and its condition, they will recommend the appropriate treatment.
If the disease is caught in the early stages and no damage has occurred, one or two dental cleanings will treat the disease. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene routine and attending your routine cleanings and checkups.
If the disease has advanced and has caused some damage, a special dental cleaning, which is known as scaling and root planing, will be needed. It is usually performed on one or two quadrants of your mouth at a time after your dentist has numbed your mouth. During this treatment, your hygienist will remove the tartar, plaque, and toxins from above and below the gumline and will smooth the rough surfaces of the roots. This treatment helps the gums heal and the pockets to shrink. Medications and special mouthrinses may be recommended to help control the healing and infection.
If the pockets fail to heal after the scaling and root planing treatment, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce the depths of the pockets to make them easier to clean. For this treatment, your dentist will refer you to a periodontist.
As always, it’s important to perform daily cleaning techniques at home to keep plaque from turning into tartar. However, hard-to-reach areas will need special attention, so don’t forget to attend your regular dental cleaning and exam every six months.
After your periodontal treatment, your dentist will recommend that you visit our office four times a year for regular maintenance cleanings. At these appointments, the pockets will be carefully checked to make sure they are healthy and strong. The stuck-on plaque and tartar that is difficult to remove with brushing and flossing will then be removed above and below the gumline.
Proper oral hygiene routines and professional periodontal cleanings are essential when it comes to maintaining good oral health and keeping periodontal disease at bay!