When you have gum disease, it is essential to have it treated right away to avoid the loss of teeth. Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS in Asheville, NC has extensive training in caring for patients who have gingivitis. First, you should schedule an appointment with her to plan your course of treatments that are designed for eliminating the bacteria from your soft gum tissues and alveolar bones. An examination from our dentist will include a physical examination along with collecting medical images to help us see how much infection is in the bones of your face. There are multiple symptoms that occur with gum disease, including:
• Bad breath
• Swollen gums
• Loose teeth
• Bleeding gums
• Pain in the mouth
• Tooth decay
• Receding gums
• Shiny gums
• Ulcers on the gums
By the time you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, you will already have a significant infection that can require long-term treatment.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The causes of gum disease can vary, including failing to brush or floss the teeth on a regular basis. Older individuals are more likely to have gingivitis, but it can also occur in younger individuals. Someone who has a major health problem such as cancer or a poor immune system can develop gum disease easily. Bad habits that include drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or using recreational drugs can lead to gum disease. Individuals who lack the proper amount of nutrients can also have gingivitis at a young age. Alternatively, the individuals who eat a healthy diet, avoid bad habits and care for their teeth are less likely to have gum disease. Complications from gum disease can lead to other problems with the teeth, oral tissues, or the organs of the body, and there are studies that reveal the bacteria from the mouth may affect the brain, leading to Alzheimer’s disease. The plaque from bacteria and food particles tends to develop between the teeth or along the gums, and it may build up in the pockets around the teeth. If you aren’t brushing enough or using floss, then the plaque continues to harden, creating more bacteria that can destroy the sensitive gum tissue along with its blood vessels and nerves. Eventually, this infection destroys the roots of the teeth along with the supportive alveolar bones.
How is Gum Disease Treatment Performed?
Our dentist will begin by providing oral antibiotics to eliminate bacteria, and you will also need to use special mouth rinses to reduce the infection. However, this isn’t enough to get rid of gum disease because the infection has often caused major damage to the soft oral tissues and the bones of the face. In addition to antibiotic treatment, we can use a variety of other methods to restore your oral health. A professional cleaning of your teeth is vital, but we will need to numb your gums during the process. The cleaning methods used when you have gingivitis include scraping the roots of the teeth and suctioning the debris from the pockets around the teeth. Without numbing agents, this would become an uncomfortable process, but with the medication, you won’t have any discomfort. As our dentist removes infectious debris, she also rinses the treated areas to eliminate additional bacteria. While completing this procedure, our dentist checks the health of the roots of the teeth and the gum tissue to plan additional treatments to eliminate the gingivitis infection. The toxins created by plaque can have a dangerous effect on oral health, and if you have severe periodontal disease, our dentist must remove some of the infected tissue. In some cases, the alveolar bones are infected, and you risk having an infection that spreads to the jawbone. This type of infection can affect your ear canals, throat and other nearby tissues. The removal of the plaque can require multiple visits as our dentist uses small manual tools along with special mechanical equipment. During your visits in Wichita, Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS will use one or more of these methods to help you overcome gum disease:
• Scaling – using tools to remove hardened plaque
• Root planing – removing infection from the roots of the teeth
• Curettage – the removal of diseased gum tissue
• Antiseptic rinsing – performed repetitively during treatments
• Flossing – using strands of threads to remove debris
• Polishing – additional cleaning to remove bacteria while whitening the teeth
In addition to cleaning and cutting away diseased tissue, you may need surgery to repair diseased teeth. This often involves having one or more root canals to remove the infected pulp from each tooth before filling it with a durable substance. You will need customized dental crowns to cover the teeth that require root canals. When a tooth or its root is beyond repair, our dentist may need to extract it, but you can often have a dental implant inserted after periodontal treatment. It is also possible to wear a dental bridge that has one or more full-size dental crowns so you don’t have any gaps in your smile. If you have diseased gum tissue or receding gums, gum surgery using your own oral tissues or synthetic materials may be necessary to cover the exposed roots of your teeth.
Get in Touch with Us for More Information
To learn more about gum disease, we encourage you to reach out and make an appointment with the office of Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS. At our convenient location in Asheville, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain your options in greater detail and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!