Dr. Paulson and the staff of Arbor Dental Associates in Novi emphasize the importance of maintaining healthy gums for optimal dental health. The gums support the teeth and play an important role in your overall health and well being.
Poor gum health can lead to an increase in the risk of developing or the severity of major health concerns such as cardiovascular and systemic disease. Research on the “mouth-body” connection continues to show the correlation between oral health and overall physical health and the role of periodontal health in preventing inflammation linked to many diseases. Disease gum tissue can enable harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause a range of health concerns.
During a routine preventive care Dr. Paulson will perform a periodontal screening to look for the early signs of gum disease and recommend appropriate treatment. Visiting with us twice a year for routine dental exams is the key to avoiding gum disease and its effects.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease has two stages and can often progress unnoticed in patients who do not receive regular dental care or are prone to periodontal disease. Early intervention can avoid deteriorating dental health and the need for extensive treatment to address damage to both the teeth and the gums.
Gingivitis: the early stage of gum disease, gingivitis is often characterized by sensitive gums, bleeding gums or gums that appear red and swollen. This is the result of early infection of the gum tissue from plaque that is building up along the gum line.
Periodontitis: advanced gum disease, symptoms of periodontitis can include the above as well as receding gums, shifting teeth and a change in the fit of dental appliances as bacteria moves deeper into the gum tissue and affects the tooth roots.
Common Signs of Gum Disease
Understanding and recognizing the signs of gum disease can prevent progression and possible damage to teeth and gums. Common signs and symptoms can include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Loose or shifted teeth
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Sores in the mouth
Treatment for Gum Disease
Dr. Paulson will assess your oral health and recommend the appropriate periodontal therapy for your unique needs. Treatment will depend on the stage of gum disease and any contributing medical or lifestyle factors.
Treatment options can include:
Anti-bacterial rinses: for early stage gum disease, an anti-bacterial rinse can reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Scaling and root planing: a thorough cleaning technique performed in our office which removes plaque from the tooth roots and deep recesses of the gums.
Laser dentistry: gentle dental lasers can remove damaged and diseased tissue, enabling the gums to heal.
Referral to a specialist: for advanced cases of gum disease requiring more extensive treatment, Dr. Paulson will refer patients to a local specialist.