When bacteria cause tooth decay, it starts out so small that it’s almost impossible to detect. (Which is why we use the DIAGNOdent laser detection system.) Eventually, the decay becomes more visible, but by that time the damage is done. If the decay is not treated, things can quickly get out of hand. The same is true with your gums, because the same bacteria that cause tooth decay can cause problems with your gum tissue. Visit or call our Alma, MI dental office at 989-796-4848 to know more about our non surgical gum disease treatment Alma, MI area appointment.
How Can Gums Get A Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused by harmful bacteria that live off tiny particles of food and drink left behind in your mouth. If you neglect your teeth by not brushing and flossing regularly, you can give bacteria more food to live on. Gum disease comes in two stages:
- The early stage is called gingivitis. This is when the bacteria have not yet infected your gum tissue, but they are irritating the gums and creating problems. Plaque and tartar created by bacteria can also irritate your gums.
- The later stage is called periodontitis. Here, the bacteria have infected the gum tissue. Unfortunately, this infection cannot be completely cured once periodontitis has set in. You can manage the disease, but you cannot cure it by this stage.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
While gum disease can be present without any obvious symptoms, there are some signs you should look out for. The most obvious sign is bleeding after you brush and floss. Unless you are doing so very aggressively, your gums should not be bleeding. Other symptoms include gums that are redder than normal, tender, or swollen. Gum disease can also cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and give you chronic bad breath.
What Is Scaling And Root Planing?
Bacteria leave behind a sticky substance on your teeth called plaque. Over time, plaque hardens and becomes tartar. Both can irritate your gums. Brushing and flossing helps control plaque and tartar, but they can be harder to remove when they build up below your gumline. At our Alma, MI dental office, we use a deep cleaning technique called scaling and root planing. We carefully clean the teeth and gums as well as reach below the gumline to clean away plaque and tartar. This also helps get rid of the bacteria there, controlling gum disease symptoms. We can often do this cleaning using our Waterlase laser, which combines air, water, and laser energy to safely remove bacteria without causing trauma to your gums.
Since This Is A Bacteria Problem, Can Medicine Help?
Besides scaling and root planing, you can use medicine to help control the bacteria. You can get special rinses and toothpaste from our office that contain medicine that attacks the harmful bacteria causing all of these problems. And if you need gum disease treatment for your whole mouth, we provide a special toothbrush kit (a $119 value) for free with the treatment.