Periodontal (gum) disease is second only to tooth decay when it comes to common oral health conditions. This disease can dramatically impact your oral and overall health without proper treatment with a skilled dental professional. When caught early and treated adequately, patients struggling with gum disease can fully recover their optimal level of oral health. At Green Mountain Dental, we’re happy to provide periodontal screenings to ensure early diagnosis and a wide range of gum disease treatments to keep your smile whole and healthy for a lifetime. If you’re in need of gum disease therapy, call our South Burlington dental office to schedule a gum health screening and treatment consultation with us right away.
Gum disease is an oral health condition that occurs when plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line irritates soft tissue. In the early stages, referred to as gingivitis, gum disease has mild symptoms that are often overlooked if not diagnosed by a professional. When gum disease is left untreated, it reaches the more advanced stage of the disease called periodontitis. In this form, gum disease has serious adverse effects on oral and overall health that are noticeable even to the untrained eye, but by staying up to date with your six month dental checkups, you should be able to prevent gum disease from ever reaching this stage.
During your dental exam and professional teeth cleaning appointments, we’ll screen for the early warning signs of gum disease. In addition to visiting our dental office in South Burlington twice a year for professional teeth cleanings, you should let our team know right away if you notice any of these common warning signs of gum disease:
Gum disease treatment will depend in large part on the stage of your condition. In the earliest stages, more frequent professional cleanings may be enough to improve and restore oral health. In the advanced stages, we may need to provide more advanced cleaning procedures called scaling and root planing. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque and tartar and damaged tissue around the gums. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to avoid further buildup of plaque and tartar. We utilize the latest in soft tissue laser technology to perform these procedures with minimal discomfort and bleeding and faster healing time with less risk of infection. Additionally, we may recommend oral and or topical antibiotics to reduce the numbers of oral bacteria. These bacteria breakdown nutrients in the foods and drinks you consume and produce sticky, acidic plaque that accumulates leading to gum disease. For this reason, targeted reduction in the amount of bacteria can improve oral health for many gum disease sufferers.
Fortunately, with professional intervention, you’ll be able to keep gum disease from causing permanent damage to your mouth. For patients who are experiencing moderate to severe periodontitis, we may suggest scaling and root planing treatment, also known as a deep cleaning. Over the course of two appointments, we will clear your mouth of all harmful substances and allow your gums a chance to heal and reattach to the roots of your teeth. When we perform this early enough, we may even be able to completely reverse the symptoms of gum disease.
An estimated one-half of Americans over the age of 30 currently have some form of gum disease, even if they’re unaware of it. Despite how common this condition is, many people don’t actually know that much about it. To clear up some misconceptions and give you a better idea of how it works, we’ve included the answers to some frequently asked questions about gum disease in South Burlington in the section below. Feel free to call us if your question isn’t answered on this page.
The most common cause of gum disease is a buildup of plaque as a result of poor oral hygiene. Luckily, brushing twice a day and flossing daily can minimize the accumulation of plaque. While it may still collect in certain areas of your mouth, attending your routine checkups and cleanings every six months can clear your teeth of this harmful substance.
Additionally, tobacco use has been shown to double your risk of gum disease. Our team can gladly point you toward resources to help you quit smoking.
Lastly, consume sugary foods and drinks in moderation. Sugar attracts bacteria. Be sure to eat plenty of mouth-healthy foods as well, like leafy greens and calcium-rich dairy products.
The increased number of bacteria in your mouth as a result of gum disease can increase your risk for a plethora of other systemic health issues. Through the pockets they create in your gums, bacteria can access your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body to wreak havoc. Not only that, but inflammation in the gums can set off a chain reaction of inflammation throughout the body. These problems have been linked to increases risks in health complications like:
The cost of your gum disease treatment will depend on the severity of your condition as well as what procedure you need. The good news is that gum disease therapy is almost always at least partially covered by dental insurance. At Green Mountain Dental, we’re in-network with many, many insurance providers, including Cigna and Delta Dental. We can also help you apply for a low-interest loan through CareCredit. We even have an in-office membership plan that can net you significant savings on most treatments in exchange for a low, flat annual fee.
Before beginning a procedure like scaling and root planing, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to completely numb your mouth. We also offer sedation options to dampen your body’s ability to register pain as well as calm your nerves.
You shouldn’t experience pain during the procedure, but your gums might be a bit sore for the next few days. We recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication as needed to minimize discomfort.