Prevent and Reverse Gum Disease
Periodontal Care in Wilmington
Gum disease affects more than half of all American adults, though many do not know they suffer from this common dental health issue. Without proper treatment, minor cases of gum disease (gingivitis) can progress and cause serious, irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. Visit our dentist in Wilmington, Dr. Friberg, at Thrive Family Dental for regular dental cleanings and periodontal care will help keep your teeth and gums on the right track, and ensure that we catch and treat any signs of periodontal disease as early as possible.
Understanding The Stages Of Gum Disease
Periodontal care is an essential part of preventative dentistry, especially for patients who have gum disease. The earliest, most common stage of gum disease is called “gingivitis.” At this stage of the disease, no permanent damage has been done to your mouth and you can still eliminate it entirely. If left untreated, gingivitis may advance into the second stage of the disease, called “periodontitis.” At this stage of gum disease, permanent damage has occurred, but proper care can halt the progression of the disease and prevent further harm. If you do not seek treatment, your disease may progress to the third stage, commonly called “advanced periodontitis.” At this stage, the tissues of your gums have been destroyed and you may begin to lose your teeth. Most patients with advanced periodontitis will need to have their remaining teeth extracted and replaced with a restoration.
Common Symptoms Of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is characterized by mostly minor symptoms, such as redness or darkness of the gums, bleeding when brushing, and sensitivity of the teeth and gums. Halitosis (bad breath) may also be present. As gum disease advances, the symptoms will progressively worsen. You may experience shifting in your bite as your gum tissue is destroyed, a bad taste in your mouth, loosening of your teeth, and receding gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, call us as soon as possible to get the treatment you need or don’t hesitate to come directly to our office at 8115 Market Street, Suite 204, Wilmington, NC 28411.
Your Treatment Options
For minor cases of gingivitis, a deep cleaning (also called “scaling and root planing”) may be enough to resolve the condition, in combination with antibiotic treatments. Deep cleaning removes tartar and plaque from between your gums and teeth, and helps smooth out tooth roots to prevent bacteria from collecting underneath your teeth. More advanced cases of periodontitis may require surgical intervention such as gum flap surgery and pocket reduction. In serious cases of advanced periodontitis, the best option may be to extract all your remaining teeth and replace them with a denture.
Can My Gums Recover From Gum Disease?
Yes. Your gums can completely recover from gum disease. But there’s a catch. This is only true of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. In gingivitis, bacteria are attacking your gums and are causing inflammation, but they have not caused any permanent damage to your gums or the support structures below your teeth. If you take good care of your teeth and gums, eliminate risk factors for gum disease, and see Dr. Friberg for deep cleanings, you can reverse this process and keep your mouth healthy.
However, this is not the case once your gum disease has gotten worse and progressed to the second stage, commonly called “periodontitis.” In this stage of gum disease, it will not be possible to completely eliminate gum disease. While you can control it and keep your mouth healthy, you will need to get routine gum maintenance cleanings from a for the rest of your life.
This is why it’s so important to treat gum disease early. Early intervention ensures that you can fully recover from gingivitis, and even if your gum disease has progressed and is not reversible, the sooner you get care, the better your outcome will be.
Is Deep Gum Cleaning Really Necessary?
Yes. If Dr. Ben Friberg recommends a deep gum cleaning for your case, it’s absolutely necessary. Deep gum cleanings can reverse minor cases of gingivitis and help control gum disease, but they must be done regularly to ensure your mouth stays healthy.
Deep cleanings involve using special tools to clean deeply between the teeth and gums, and to smooth out the roots of your teeth. This, along with antibacterial rinses and antibiotics, is often enough to completely halt or reverse the progression of your gum disease.
If you wait and don’t get a deep gum cleaning when Dr. Friberg recommends it, you may be putting yourself at risk. Your gum disease will only get worse. You could end up requiring surgical intervention, and you even may lose multiple teeth due to advanced gum disease.
So if you think you may have gum disease in Wilmington or Porters Neck, time is of the essence. We recommend that you come to Thrive Family Dental right away to get the periodontal care you need to keep your mouth healthy.
How Can I Strengthen My Gums Naturally?
The most important thing to do is to maintain good oral hygiene. You need to brush at least twice a day for two minutes using antigingivitis toothpaste, and you should floss once per day, too. If Dr. Friberg prescribes you a mouth rinse or recommends you use antigingivitis mouthwash, make sure to follow his instructions to keep your mouth healthy.
It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet. Avoid processed foods, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy dairy products. Don’t drink sugary beverages, as this can help encourage the reproduction of bacteria in your mouth.
Beyond this, you should also make other lifestyle changes that can help keep your gums healthy, such as quitting smoking and tobacco use, cutting back on alcohol, and discussing medications you’re taking with Dr. Ben Friberg. Some medications can lead to dry mouth (xerostomia), which may worsen gum disease. Don't hesitate to contact our office at (910) 240-4797 to schedule your appointment.