Periodontal Care in Southfield, MI
When bacteria from your teeth penetrate your gums, the result is an infection known as periodontal disease or gum disease. Gum disease can be the result of poor dental health, illness, or genetics. If left untreated, it can be severe enough to cause tooth loss or even jawbone deterioration.
Early intervention will help prevent gum disease from causing permanent damage.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease where the infection can be easily treated with a thorough cleaning at our Southfield location. During this stage, gum disease can be reversed without any lasting effects.
Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of gum disease where the infection has spread from the gums to the jawbone. Your gums will begin to recede and form pockets, making it easier for bacteria to build up.
Without treatment, your gums will recede further, causing the pockets to deepen and become more infected. During this stage, your teeth may become loose or even fall out.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
While some patients with gingivitis may not have any obvious symptoms, it’s vitally important to seek treatment at any stage of gum disease so we can restore your oral health and prevent further damage. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Painful or tender gums, especially while chewing
- Bad breath
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gumline
During your biannual appointments, our friendly staff will be sure to thoroughly examine your gums and teeth to ensure they’re free of bacteria buildup and infection.
Treating Gum Disease
If caught early on, gum disease can be treated with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. During the treatment, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned along the surfaces and gumline.
The tooth’s roots will be smoothed to prevent bacteria from re-adhering and keep your mouth free of infection. If pockets have formed between your teeth, bacteria and infection are more likely to accumulate in these areas and Dr. Daniels-Dixon will recommend coming in more frequently for a deep cleaning.
ARESTIN® Gum Therapy
In addition to a deep cleaning, ARESTIN may be applied after your cleaning to help ward off bacteria and stop the infection. ARESTIN is an antibiotic used specifically to treat gum disease and is easily applied without the need for anesthesia or needles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gum disease is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans. You may be at risk if you don’t properly care for your teeth and gums by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist frequently. In addition, the following factors will increase your chances of having gum disease:
- Severe stress
- Medications that reduce saliva production
- Certain health conditions (i.e. AIDS and cancer)
- Family history
If caught early on, gum disease can be cured with the help of a deep cleaning combined with increased oral hygiene practices. Once the infection progresses to periodontal disease, the gums and bone become damaged and the effects will be lifelong.
By brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing between meals, you can improve your oral health and decrease the risk of recurring infections. In addition to a regular oral hygiene routine, you’ll want to visit our Southfield office for regular checkups and professional cleanings so we can ensure your mouth is in the best of health.
There are a wide variety of antibacterial mouthwashes that can help to eliminate plaque and prevent gum disease. Two popular options that we recommend are Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash and Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield.
Using a mouthwash at least once a day after you brush your teeth can help protect them against plaque and gum disease. Mouthwash is most effective when paired with regular brushing and flossing, as well as dental appointments every six months.
After a deep cleaning, any discomfort and swelling will subside within a few weeks. The time it takes for the symptoms to subside depends on the extent of the infection. In addition to following any recommendations by our dentist, you’ll want to rinse with warm saltwater to keep your mouth free of bacteria and promote gum healing. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers and ice to help with any discomfort and swelling.