Gum Disease Treatment – North Andover, MA
Save Your Gums, Save Your Smile
Gum disease generally doesn’t get as much attention as cavities, but in reality, it’s actually the most prevalent disease in America – more common than heart disease, stroke, and cancer. A vast majority of the population – roughly 80% -- suffers from a form of gum disease. This condition is also sometimes referred to as periodontal disease. No matter what you call it, however, it’s essential that you get in touch with Dr. Beliveau as soon as possible, so a solution can be found through effective gum disease treatment in North Andover, MA.
Why Choose E. Charles Beliveau, DDS for Gum Disease Treatment?
- Over 20 Years of Dental Experience
- State-of-the-Art Technology
- Quick, Efficient Deep Cleanings
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an oral infection that starts off mild and becomes more and more severe as you age. The root cause is normally when plaque underneath the gum line hardens and becomes calculus (which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing). The calculus starts to irritate the soft tissues in your mouth, leaving them vulnerable to infection. This issue can easily be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene and a buildup of food particles between your teeth. Many patients don’t recognize the comparatively mild symptoms early on, which include swollen gums and bleeding while brushing your teeth. Over time, the gums will start to pull back from the teeth, allowing periodontal pockets to form. If bacteria build up in these pockets, they can destroy the gum tissue and bone that anchor your teeth in place.
Why is Gum Disease So Serious?
Gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems – including those that affect the entire body and not just the mouth. If you have gum disease, you’ll also be at greater risk for stroke, heart disease, various respiratory problems, complications from diabetes, osteoporosis, low birth weight (in the case of pregnant women), and even dementia. The connection between gum disease and these various conditions is being actively studied, but overall, the link makes sense. If bacteria are in your mouth, they can easily travel to other parts of your body by being inhaled or swallowed; in some cases, they might even enter your bloodstream via the vessels in your gums.
Is Gum Disease Curable?
In its advanced form, gum disease is not actually curable; we can only try and control it to stop it from spreading. That said, preventing the damage from spreading further is relatively simple if we catch it early on during a regular dental checkup; at that point, you may only need to change your brushing technique or update your flossing routine.
After gum disease reaches a certain point (beyond the stages where improved oral hygiene is enough to reverse it), we have a number of options for treating it. A deep cleaning that consists of scaling and root planing is generally the first choice. That said, particularly advanced changes might require surgery from a periodontist; we can refer you to one of our trusted colleagues if needed. No matter what kind of treatment you receive, though, you should plan on more frequent hygiene visits moving forward.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are generally performed together in order to remove the bacteria contributing to gum disease and to give the mouth a chance to recover from the damage. They’re collectively thought of as the “gold standard” when it comes to treating chronic gum disease. The process involves removing plaque and calculus from around and underneath the gum line; afterwards, we remove any rough patches from the tooth roots so that they can reattach to the gums more easily.