Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults of all ages. If you’re concerned about gum disease, Dr. Erica Kleinbaum is here to help with expert periodontal care in Littleton, MA.
Periodontal disease, also commonly called gum disease, is inflammation and infection of your gums. There are many contributing factors to the development of gum disease. The build-up of bacteria-filled plaque and tartar between your teeth and gums can cause your gums to become inflamed, puffy, red, and infected, and ultimately can lead to bone loss around your teeth.
The first stage of gum disease, known as “gingivitis,” is completely reversible with proper care. This is why it’s so important to get periodontal care at Zwell Dental right away if you suspect you have gum disease!
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First, you’ll need to visit Littleton dentist Dr. Kleinbaum for a consultation. She will examine your mouth and take x-rays to determine if you have gum disease, diagnose the extent of your issue, and determine the best path forward for restoring your oral health.
After your diagnosis, the first step in treatment is usually a periodontal deep cleaning. In this procedure, Dr. Kleinbaum will use special tools to clean the bacteria out of your deep gum pockets. Along with antibiotics, this may be enough to get early-stage gum disease under control.
After your deep cleaning, you’ll come back to our office for some follow-ups with Dr. Kleinbaum. If your gum disease has not been reversed or is not under control, she may recommend further treatment like gum flap surgery. You may also need to come back to our office regularly for periodontal maintenance, which helps keep your gum disease under control.
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Deep cleanings take two appointments, with half of your mouth being cleaned at each appointment. In this procedure, Dr. Kleinbaum will clean plaque and tartar away from between your gums and teeth, eliminating the bacteria that cause gum disease. She will also smooth out your tooth roots, which helps eliminate “periodontal pockets” that contribute to gum disease.
Topical or oral (pill-based) antibiotic treatments are usually prescribed along with deep cleanings. Antibiotics help kill bacteria in your mouth, which keeps your gum disease in check. Make sure to take any antibiotics as prescribed by Dr. Kleinbaum.
In severe cases of gum disease, gum flap surgery may be needed. In this procedure, a periodontal specialist will fold back the gums to access the roots of your teeth and clean them thoroughly. This provides a deeper, more thorough cleaning compared to standard scaling & root planing.
When left untreated, periodontal disease can cause serious damage to your gums and jaw bone. Gum and bone grafting may be necessary to rebuild your gums and jaw bone, either to protect your remaining teeth, or to prepare for replacements such as dental implants.
This depends on the specifics of your case. Some patients with gum disease may require cleanings every 3-4 months to keep their mouths healthy. Others may be able to go as long as six months between cleanings. Dr. Kleinbaum will recommend the appropriate treatment interval based on the specifics of your case.
Getting periodontal care for gum disease is important because early intervention can completely reverse or halt the progression of gum disease. The sooner you get periodontal care, the better your outcome will be.
When you get periodontal care from Zwell Dental early after noticing the signs of gum disease, you’ll spend less time at the dentist, less money on periodontal treatments, and less time worrying about your oral health.