When people talk about their oral health, they usually mean their teeth. However, your gums are just as important because they provide a home for your pearly whites. If your gums have succumbed to gum disease, it’s impossible to keep your teeth anchored in your jaw. That’s why gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. Thankfully, Dr. Carolyn Molzahn is well-equipped to provide gum disease treatment in Worthington and help you maintain a healthy smile. If your gums are tender or inflamed, or they bleed when you brush or floss, don’t hesitate to call us as soon as you can for prompt and effective treatment!
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease occurs when plaque builds up in your mouth. Bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at healthy gum tissue, creating pockets between your gums and teeth. This can eventually lead to teeth loosening or even falling out entirely. While gum disease can affect patients of all ages, it’s most common in older adults who smoke or have poor dental hygiene.
Common signs of gum disease include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact our office right away. It could save your smile!
Just because gum disease is fairly common doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly serious. It can even cause problems in more than just your mouth. Dangerous bacteria can access your bloodstream through the pockets they create in your gums. From there, they can damage other parts of your body, such as your heart or your brain. In fact, gum disease has been linked with an increased risk of several medical conditions, such as:
In the early stage, called gingivitis, gum disease is often reversible with improved dental hygiene at home and additional teeth cleanings here at our practice. The more advanced stage, known as periodontitis, may require more extensive treatment. Here are the two most common treatment options:
Scaling and root planing, also known as a dental deep cleaning, is a nonsurgical procedure that is typically carried out over the course of several appointments. The scaling portion involves Dr. Molzahn removing plaque deposits below the gumline. Root planing smooths out the roots of the teeth so that the gums can more efficiently reattach to your teeth. It also reduces the risk of bacteria adhering to them in the future.
Often done in tandem with scaling and root planing, antibiotic therapy helps improve your gum tissue’s healing process. After a deep cleaning, we administer a topical antibiotic directly to the newly created pockets between your gums and teeth. The ingredients in the antibiotic will spread throughout your mouth, targeting any bacteria that we may have missed during scaling and root planing. We’ll typically see you for a follow-up appointment to confirm that the antibiotics are working as they should.