Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease, and it is an infection that affects not just your gums, but also the bone that supports and surrounds your teeth.
While we can effectively treat gum disease in its early stages, its adverse effects – like bone loss – cannot be reversed. This is one of the reasons why we emphasize the importance of routine visits for dental cleanings and exams at our Lakeland, FL dental office.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is widespread, and nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have some level of gum disease. One of the reasons it’s so prevalent is that people may not have symptoms or may not realize that the symptom is related to gum disease.
Here are some signs to look for:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Red swollen gums
- Gum recession
How We Diagnose Gum Disease
Dr. Zaman is our periodontist, a dental specialty that involves three years of training beyond dental school and deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. He is also qualified to treat severe periodontal problems using a range of surgical procedures including gum grafts or gum lifts.
To diagnose gum disease, Dr. Zaman looks for signs of gum recession, evaluates your dental bite, and checks for loose teeth. He also uses a small instrument called a periodontal probe to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums that we refer to as periodontal pockets. If the depth of the pockets is greater than three millimeters, Dr. Zaman will recommend treatment to restore your gums to full health.
How We Treat Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and we can usually treat it with a thorough professional dental cleaning and a commitment on your part to practice excellent oral hygiene and follow through with routine appointments in the future.
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis, and in this case, it’s imperative that we start treatment right away to prevent irreversible consequences including:
- Severe gum recession
- Bone loss that results in tooth loss
- Inflamed and very sensitive gums
It’s also well documented that chronic inflammations in your mouth contribute to serious disorders like heart and lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more.
Scaling and Root Planing
Also referred to as deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is the first step in treating advanced gum disease.
During scaling and root planing, Dr. Zaman scrapes away plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth and smoothes the roots of your teeth to eliminate spots where bacteria can hide and allow the gum tissue to reattach to your teeth.
Your comfort is of utmost importance to us, so we will numb the area that we’re treating so you won’t feel anything. Because of the time needed for this procedure, we will break the process down into two separate appointments.
A few weeks after treatment, we will have you return to our office to evaluate how your gums responded to the deep cleaning. If necessary, Dr. Zaman will discuss the need for advanced treatment like gum surgery to restore your oral health.
After treatment, we will have you return to our office every three or four months to check on your progress until your gums are restored to full health.
Please Call Us for An Appointment
If you have noticed a change in your gums recently or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please call us to arrange an appointment with one of our Lakeland, FL dentists.