Gum Disease Therapy

Did you know that over half of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease? Whether it has just started to develop or has progressed to a more severe stage, the presence of the condition, in any case, is bad news. Not only can gum disease wreak havoc on the smile’s appearance, but it can also lead to other serious health complications. To help you better understand this condition, our Monroe, CT team encourages you to read on and learn about gum disease, heighten your awareness of its risks, and understand what you can do to treat or prevent it.

What Is Gum Disease?



Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This infection, if left untreated, can damage the gums, bone, and other tissues that support the teeth. 

The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, and it all starts with plaque—a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. As an acidic coating, plaque can cover the entire tooth but tends to accumulate more at the gum line. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque will eventually turn into tartar, which is a much harder substance that can only be removed through professional cleaning.

As tartar lingers along the gumline, it irritates and inflames the gum tissue—causing it to pull away from the tooth. This pocket formation allows more tartar to accumulate, as well as bacteria. The bacteria and toxins they release will eventually begin to break down the bone that supports the teeth. 

Signs & Symptoms

Gum disease occurs in three primary stages, each with its own set of symptoms. 

In the earliest stage, gingivitis, you may notice the following:

  • Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing

At this stage, gum disease is still fairly easy to treat and can often be reversed with improved oral hygiene habits. 

If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis. Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

At this stage, gum disease has begun to damage the gums, bone, and other tissues that support the teeth. While this damage is not reversible, the condition can still be managed with the right treatment plan.

If periodontitis is not treated, it can advance to advanced periodontitis. The following symptoms characterize advanced periodontitis:

  • Severe gum inflammation and infection
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Deep pockets around teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

At this stage, gum disease has caused significant damage to the smile and may even lead to other health complications.

Treatment & Prevention

Fortunately, gum disease is highly preventable with proper oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits. To prevent gum disease, be sure to:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Floss daily
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary snacks
  • Visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and checkups

If your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis or advanced periodontitis, our team will develop a personalized treatment plan to help restore your oral health. Treatment options may include one or more of the below procedures.

Scaling & Root Planing

Also known as deep cleaning, the scaling, and root planing procedure involves removing tartar, plaque, and bacteria from above and below the gum line. Using a tool called a scaler, our team will clean the teeth and gum pockets one by one. Once these areas are all clean, we will move on to root planing. 

During root planing, we will smooth out any rough spots on the tooth root where bacteria can accumulate. This helps to reduce inflammation and encourages gum tissue to reattach to the tooth. 

Perio Pocket Reduction

If your gum disease has caused deep pockets to form around the teeth, we may recommend perio pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure, we will make small incisions in the gum tissue to access the pockets. We will then clean out the bacteria and tartar from these areas and sew the gum tissue back in place.

Full Mouth Debridement

In some cases of advanced gum disease, a full mouth debridement may be necessary. This procedure is similar to deep cleaning but is more extensive. After numbing the mouth, our team will remove all of the tartar, plaque, and bacteria from the teeth and gums. This is performed in an effort to prevent further damage while also taking strides toward restoring oral health.

Periodontal Maintenance

After initial treatment for gum disease has been completed, periodontal maintenance cleanings will be necessary to prevent the condition from returning. These cleanings are typically performed every three or four months and involve a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums.

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