Did you know that 4 out of 5 Americans has some form of gum disease, according to the American Dental Hygienists Association?
Did you know that nearly half of American adults 30 and older have some form of periodontitis, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control?
And did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States?
When people think about dental care, their first thoughts are often about the condition of their teeth. Your gum health is equally important to your oral health and quite likely to your overall health.
This is why Dr. Michael Thrasher and our team at Hillcrest Dental Care are more than ready, willing, and able to help treat and prevent gum disease at our Waco, TX, dentist office.
Don’t let a gum infection rob you of your smile. Call us today 254-400-2868 to schedule an appointment for a cleaning or gum disease treatment.
The Symptoms Of Gum Disease
We’ve already shared a few facts about gum disease, but we need to make sure you know what to watch for in your own mouth.
Let’s start with healthy gums. When your gums are healthy, they are usually pink in color. They also feel firm to the touch, and they don’t bleed. This is important for everyone to remember.
If your gums look redder than usually or appear swollen, that can be a clue that you may have gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease. Another big clue that you have a gum infection is when your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. (And yes, you need to brush and floss every day.)
In some cases, improving your brushing and flossing habits can help reverse the effects of gingivitis and get your mouth back to a healthy condition.
In other cases, you may develop periodontitis. This is an advanced form of gum disease, and this should only be treated by dental professionals, like our team at Hillcrest Dental Care.
If you have periodontitis, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that are pulling away from your teeth or receding
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Teeth that feel loose or a change in how partial dentures fit
- Sore or painful gums
- Loose teeth or changes in your bite
While pain certainly is a reason to contact us immediately, you should know that gum disease can develop for a long time before you have any pain. This is why it is important to be aware of the other symptoms as well.
Treating Gum Disease
If you do come to our office for gum disease treatment, one of the first things we will do is make sure that you are comfortable. We have massage chairs to help you relax. We will be happy to share pillows and blankets to help you feel cozy, too.
We also offer sedation dentistry, including oral sedation, for patients who may feel anxious or fearful about dental care.
Once you are relaxed and ready, we will provide the treatment that is appropriate for you.
For some patients, scaling and root planing may be all that you need. During this procedure, we will remove plaque and tartar buildup from the roots of your teeth. This is similar to what we do during a routine cleaning only deeper below the gumline.
If we need to go a step further, we can provide root debridement to remove bacteria and reduce pockets that may have formed in your gums.
And for more serious situations, we also offer LANAP gum treatment. LANAP is the laser-assisted new attachment procedure, and Dr. Thrasher has been doing this for a decade for our patients.
LANAP is a better alternative than gum surgery, which is the old way of dealing with severe gum disease. With surgery, a dentist or oral surgeon had to cut away the diseased tissue as well as some healthy tissue to be sure to the infection was removed. That also meant bleeding, and it required sutures to seal the gums closed until a patient healed.
With LANAP, we use a laser to more precisely eliminate infected tissue while preserving more of the healthy tissue. The laser also seals the healthy tissue, so in many instances, sutures are not needed. LANAP patients have shorter recovery times than patients who undergo gum surgery as well.
To Keep Smiling, Stay Free From Gum Disease
Whether you need a dental cleaning to prevent gum disease or you need a periodontal treatment, Dr. Thrasher and our team at Hillcrest Dental Care is here to help.