Your gum health plays an important role in your dental and overall health. Gum disease, which results when pockets of bacteria accumulate in your gums, can lead to a variety of symptoms, including pain, swelling, redness, weakened teeth, and eventually tooth loss. It has also been linked to other dangerous conditions such as heart disease.
Dr. Cooley and Dr. Vick offer various treatments for mild to moderate cases of gum disease. They also work closely with a periodontist in Germantown, TN for more serious cases. They can also provide diagnostic testing, including oral cancer screenings, to help catch any periodontal issues early. To schedule an appointment and learn more about gum health, contact us today.
Gum Disease and Its Effects
Bacteria that accumulates on your teeth becomes a hardened substance called plaque. If left untreated, bacterial plaque begins to accumulate below your gum line. In the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, you may experience irritation, swelling, bleeding, and bad breath as the plaque creates infection below your gum line.
As the bacteria continue to spread, gingivitis becomes fully developed gum disease, or periodontitis. During this stage, bacteria may begin to eat away at your tissue, leading to a receding gum line, weakened teeth, and eventually tooth loss. Gum disease has been linked to a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's Disease. Additionally, gum disease has been linked in pregnant women to children born with low birth weight.
While gum disease does not necessarily mean a patient will develop other conditions, the bacteria it creates are harmful to the body and can be easily maintained with proper care.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
Knowing the seriousness of gum disease and its effects on your systemic health, we are dedicated to providing outstanding care using safe, effective laser technology.
- Scaling and planing is the most common treatment for periodontitis. we use the advanced WaterlaseÂ® surgical laser to eliminate pockets of bacteria below the gum line. It also smooths the rough patches on your dental roots, making it more difficult for bacteria to attach. The Waterlase® laser actually seals blood vessels during the procedure so you will experience minimal discomfort and a much faster recovery time than with traditional metal instruments.
- Pocket irrigation may be used by itself or in conjunction with scaling and planing. During this treatment, Dr. Cooley and Dr. Vick will administer an antimicrobial solution to destroy the bacteria residing in your gums.
- Periodontal surgery may be necessary if you have advanced gum disease or if you do not respond to these other treatments. Although we do not perform gum surgery in our office, Drs. Cooley and Vick will happily refer you to an area periodontist who can remove diseased tissue during a laser gingivectomy.
Early Detection with Advanced Screenings
Traditionally, gum disease could only be detected when patients began to show the outward symptoms of the condition. By that time, the disease was often quite advanced. By performing salivation DNA tests, we can detect and treat the earliest signs of gum disease. He also provides thorough screenings for the early detection of oral cancer, using the innovative and highly accurate OralID system. Screening takes approximately one to two minutes, during which the OralID tool will emit fluorescent to detect any tissue abnormalities.
Gum disease and oral cancer can have serious consequences for your health. However, with early detection and treatment, you can treat these diseases more effectively, affordably, and comfortably. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.