One of the most prevalent diseases around the world is gum disease. In fact, research shows that some 80 percent of the adult population in the United States has some degree of this chronic disease. And while gum disease is not curable, it can be treated. At Young Dentistry, we offer a number of procedures and treatments to stop the advance of gum disease and reverse the effects.
First, let’s examine how gum disease begins. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that affects not only your gums, but if left unchecked can begin to damage the connective tissue and underlying bone that supports your teeth. Bacteria live naturally in your mouth, particularly in plaque—that gooey substance that builds up on your teeth and along the gum line. If plaque is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, then it hardens to become tartar, where bacteria multiply and infection can set in.
Initially, you may notice that your gums are a bit sore and swollen, or they may even bleed sometimes. These are all signs of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease. At this point, a more meticulous approach to your at-home oral hygiene may be all that’s necessary to stop gingivitis.
However, if gingivitis progresses to become periodontitis, then more serious symptoms may result: gum recession, enlarged gum pockets, pus, tooth sensitivity, and bone recession that can ultimately lead to tooth loss. With this degree of gum disease, Manahawkin, NJ, residents can turn to Dr. Young for the appropriate periodontal treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
The first step we take to treat your gum disease is a process known as scaling and root planing. Once you are comfortable and Dr. Young has administered a local anesthetic, one of our gentle hygienists will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. When we remove the plaque and tartar, we also remove the bacteria that initially led to your gum disease. After scaling, we perform root planing, which smooths the rough spots on root surfaces, so plaque is less likely to adhere. After treatment, Dr. Young may elect to insert a topical antibiotic in the gum pockets around your to treat the infection. For patients who have severe periodontitis, additional therapy may be necessary, such as bone grafting, tissue grafting and gingival flap surgery.
Because gum disease has been linked to a number of health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses and pregnancy complications, the importance of treating this bacterial infection cannot be overstated. If you are seeing any of the early signs of gum disease, or if it’s simply time for your regular dental checkup, then contact Young Dentistry today. We serve patients from Manahawkin, Stafford, Long Beach Island, Tuckerton, Forked River, and Barnegat. We are located at 1104 Beacon Avenue, Manahawkin, NJ, in Ocean Acres right behind Southern Medical Center.