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Gum Disease
Florence, AL

Image of a healthy tooth versus a tooth with gum disease at Singing River Dentistry.
Gum disease is a serious oral health issue. However, when it first begins, it is barely noticeable. Many people mistake the red, swollen gums for brushing too hard if they even notice these symptoms at all. When this early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, goes untreated, the condition only continues to grow worse. Eventually, it can lead to tooth loss. Diagnosing gum disease, and receiving the proper treatment, is crucial for restoring the health of your mouth. At Singing River Dentistry, we can determine the presence of gum disease with a gum disease screening.

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease can be caused by some different issues. Common causes include:
•  Poor oral hygiene practices. Even occasionally skipping out on any part of your routine can cause a buildup of plaque and bacteria.
•  You have misaligned teeth. Crooked teeth are harder to clean, which creates hiding places for plaque and bacteria.
•  Smoking. Smoking slows your blood flow, which slows the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients.
•  Alcohol. Drinking can lead to dry mouth, which creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
•  Certain types of medications. Some can cause dry mouth.
•  You lack certain nutrients in your diet.

Gum Disease Symptoms

The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss. As the condition progresses, other symptoms begin to show:
•  You have chronic bad breath.
•  Your gums begin to recede.
•  Your teeth become sensitive, which is a result of root exposure.
•  Loose teeth. This can cause your teeth to begin to shift out of alignment.
•  Tooth loss.

Gum Disease Screening

A gum disease screening is performed to detect the presence of and diagnose gum disease. We perform a visual examination of your mouth, during which we closely inspect your gum tissue. We look for signs of redness, swelling, and gum recession. We look at how your gum tissue sits against your teeth and measure your periodontal pockets. If we do find gum disease, we then assess the extent of your condition, which enables us to provide you with the most effective treatment plan.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

There are a variety of different treatments for gum disease. The type of treatment you receive depends upon the severity of your condition. Treatments for gum disease include:
•  Scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning of all surfaces of your teeth both above and below the gum line.
•  Laser therapy. Laser therapy can be used to remove infected gum tissue for a more effective scaling and root planing. It can also be used to eliminate bacteria below the gum line.
•  Pocket reduction surgery. This is a surgical procedure done when the periodontal pockets are too deep to effectively clean with scaling and root planing. The tissue is opened up to expose the roots of the teeth for a thorough cleaning. This procedure is designed to help the gums reattach to the teeth and reduce the depth of the pockets.
•  Soft tissue grafts. A soft tissue graft is done to restore a healthy gum line after gum recession.
•  Bone grafting. A bone graft is usually performed to restore missing bone mass prior to placing dental implants.

Schedule an Appointment

If you suspect that you have gum disease, even if it does not seem that serious, seeking treatment right away is critical. For more information, and to schedule your gum disease screening, call Singing River Dentistry today at 256-712-3549.

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Singing River Dentistry, 2604 Hough Rd, Florence, AL 35630 • 256-712-3549 • • 4/20/2024 • Related Terms: dentist Florence AL •