If you want to keep your teeth, you have to keep your gums healthy, too.
Gum disease (not tooth decay) is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. We offer advanced gum disease treatments at our Waco, TX dentist office.
Today, we’ll be focusing the symptoms of gum disease and how we can treat it.
However, we want to stress that preventing periodontal problems is always your best strategy. That should include brushing and flossing every day. It also should include routine visits to Hillcrest Dental Care for cleanings and exams at least a couple times per year.
Now is the time to call us at 254-400-2868 if you have not yet scheduled your next dental appointment.
Recognizing Gum Infections
If you can spot gum disease early, it may be possible to reverse it before it requires professional treatment.
Healthy gums look pink and feel firm to the touch. If your gums appear red or swollen, then you may be developing gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. If your gums bleed when you floss or brush, that’s another clue that they are infected.
Often this is evidence that you may not be flossing as often as you should. By following the ADA guidelines about brushing and flossing daily, you may be able to reverse your condition.
If you don’t see any changes or your problems get worse, you may already have periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease. Other symptoms of periodontitis may include one or more of the following:
- Sore or tender gums
- Pockets forming between your gums and your teeth
- Constant bad breath
- Pain when eating
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
If you notice any of those symptoms, call us as soon as you are able.
Cleaning Up & Protecting Your Gums
Not long ago, the recommended treatment for gum disease involved oral surgery with a scalpel. We are happy to say that we have a much better option for our patients.
LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) clears the infection, preserves more of your healthy, and reduces your recovery time.
Using a dental laser, we can target any infected gum tissue in your mouth. As the infected tissue evaporates, the laser seals the healthy tissue that left behind. This allows the tissue to heal itself more quickly than it would after a surgical procedure.
With surgery, dentists used to cut away healthy tissue to be sure they removed all the infected tissue. Then, the patients’ gums had to be sewn back together with stitches, so it would close correctly.
With LANAP, there is less bleeding, and you won’t have to have stitches cut out after you’ve healed.
Save Your Smile
Prevention is always the best approach to gum disease and tooth decay. Regular checkups at Hillcrest Dental Care can help you avoid serious problems. We will give you a professional cleaning, and we’ll be watching closely to catch any signs of infection as early as possible.