GUM DISEASE & GINGIVITIS TREATMENT IN LINCOLN NEBRASKA
Periodontal disease is a common condition that is highly preventable with proper dental hygiene and careful attention to oral health. The early stage of gum disease, which is known as gingivitis, can often even be reversed if it’s caught in time. Left untreated, however, gingivitis will invariably transition into fully-fledged periodontal disease, and this can affect more than just your dental health.
Those with periodontal disease often suffer from tooth loss and tender, inflamed gums, but if the condition is allowed to continue unchecked, it is very likely to contribute to a variety of systemic conditions such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type II diabetes. If you suspect you have gingivitis or its more advanced cousin, periodontal disease, make an appointment with your dentist in Lincoln, NE, for as soon as possible. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of minimizing the damage this condition can cause.
Scaling and Planing
Scaling and planing is a process that removes tartar that exists at or below the patient’s gum line. Routine dental cleanings only remove the plaque that exists on the surface of the teeth themselves and doesn’t do anything about bacterial buildup in the roots of the teeth. The procedure is performed in the dentist’s office under local anesthesia, and most patients report feeling little-to-no discomfort during or after the scaling and planing process. This procedure often eliminates gum disease altogether, particularly if it’s still in the early stages. Maintenance is minimal and generally requires only periodic touch-ups and adherence to a strict oral hygiene routine.
Localized Antibacterial Medications
Another way to combat bacterial buildup underneath is to place topical antibacterial medications under the gum line after a planing and scaling procedure has taken place, and are particularly recommended for patients who are experiencing fairly advances gum disease. This is not effective as a standalone treatment option but can be a good complement to other treatments.
Prescription Oral Antimicrobial Medication
Periodontal disease is basically an infection, so your dentist may prescribe oral antimicrobial medication. Like localized medication, this is meant to act as a counterpart to other treatment strategies. Various antimicrobials have been used with different degrees of success. Many patients are experiencing reductions in gum inflammations thanks to an antibiotic called Periostat™, so ask your dentist if it’s right for you.
Advances in laser technology have resulted in enhanced treatment options for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, and periodontal disease is no exception. However, not enough is known about laser treatment for periodontal disease to make it a viable option for the vast majority of patients. Because the treatment is still in the development phase, most dentists don’t recommend it to their patients. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on because technology advances so quickly that the near future may include effective laser treatments for gum disease. Keep in mind that this treatment may end up causing damage it’s left in inexperienced hands.
Surgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Advanced periodontal disease sometimes cannot be controlled by nonsurgical procedures alone, and in some cases, those with moderate periodontal disease may benefit from certain surgical procedures as well. Following are several types of gum surgery that may be beneficial to those suffering from periodontal disease.
Flap surgery is much like planing and scaling except it takes the process a bit farther. The gum tissue is separated from the tooth tissue so the underlying area can be thoroughly cleaned using an ultrasonic device.
This procedure is designed for when excess gum tissue has grown over the tooth enamel. The tissue is removed so that your dentist can more easily clean the area.
Gingivoplasty is more of a cosmetic procedure than anything else. Periodontal disease can cause something called gum recession, which means that the gum tissue has become pushed away from the tooth. This can present an unappealing appearance, so your dental surgeon can perform a gum graft where tissue is removed from another part of your mouth and grafted into the gum area to replace the missing tissue.
Please feel free to contact our Lincoln, NE, office to schedule an appointment if you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease.
Academy of General Dentistry
American Dental Association
Nebraska Dental Association
Lincoln District Dental Society
3901 Normal Blvd Suite 202
Lincoln, NE 68506