If your gums bleed when you brush or when you floss you probably have gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in your gums. It is estimated that 80% of Americans have some type of gum disease. Do not ignore your bleeding gums! Most people think, “Oh, it’s just a little pink in the sink” or “That’s no big deal; my gums always bleed a little”. Gum disease can lead to serious health problems.
Did you know that women with gum disease have an increased likelihood of having low birthweight babies? Many of these babies struggle to thrive their entire lives. Did you know that gum disease usually leads to jawbone disease (periodontal disease) and jawbone disease causes teeth to become loose and is often painful? Research has determined that having gum and jawbone disease is a better predictor of having a heart attack than having high cholesterol; therefore, gum disease can be a big problem!
Treating gum disease used to require painful surgery. At Dentistry With TLC, we have technologies that allow even severe and advanced gum and jawbone disease to be treated WITHOUT surgery; there are several types of gum and jawbone treatments our patients can receive at our office.
First, there is a great program called Perio Protect that allows patients to place gentle, yet powerful, medicine on their gums every day at home. The medicine attacks the invisible slime layer of bacteria that covers your gums and teeth and breaks down the bacteria so your immune system can better attack the gum and jawbone infection. Perio Protect is painless and easy to use. Applying the medicine can be done while you shower and adds only about two minutes to your morning or evening routine. Dr. Smith and the dental hygienists at Dentistry With TLC personally use Perio Protect at home every day to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Second, when gum and jawbone disease is present in only a few places and not around the entire mouth, a localized antibiotic called Aresin can be placed on the infected areas. A dental hygienist places this antibiotic and improvements are usually seen in about two weeks.
When patients have very stubborn gum and jawbone disease that has been resistant to other types of treatment, we have a dental laser that can be used to change the way your body responds to the bacteria and germs in your mouth. Laser treatment for gum disease is performed at four appointments, each about ten days apart. You will be numb while the laser is used and these appointments usually require about one hour each.
Treating gum and jawbone disease no longer has to be scary. With our great technology it can be treated successfully and routinely, to allow our patients a much better chance at saving their teeth and no longer needing dentures later in life.