Healthy gums are important not just for dental health but for the health of the entire body. In addition, healthy gums are one of the most important components of a beautiful smile. Medford dentist, Dr. Poorva Parnaik places great emphasis on periodontal therapy, helping patients achieve health and beauty through comfortable procedures.
About Gum Disease
The American Dental Association estimates that 75% of Americans are affected by some form of gum disease. It is the leading cause for tooth loss and has been liked to numerous other health risks including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and pregnancy complications such as premature birth and low birth weight.
You can control gum disease by adopting healthy home care habits which include brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Regular visits to the dentist are also important for controlling gum disease. At our Medford dental office, we screen for gum disease at every appointment and offer a wide range of treatment options depending on your specific condition. We offer microbiology testing to pinpoint developing bacteria allowing for earlier diagnosis and more conservative treatment options.
Using a special instruments, Dr. Parnaik will check for bleeding points in the gums and measure the periodontal pockets. We offer an oral infection screening to identify and measure bacteria levels in plaque and biofilm. Dr. Parnaik can take a culture of the biofilm and send it to a laboratory to assess the bacteria profile of your mouth. If high levels of harmful bacteria are present, she will prescribe an antibiotic rinse to restore balance.
Importance of Oral Infection Screening
The oral infection screening is an important tool that can:
- Control Gingivitis
- Prevent Advanced Gum Disease
- Improve Bad Breath
- Promote total body health
Causes & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a multifactorial disease, caused by bacteria in the mouth. The best way to control gum disease is with routine periodontal screenings.
Common risk factors for gum disease may include family history, tobacco uses, hormonal changes (as in pregnancy), poor nutrition and inadequate oral hygiene. Other factors that can contribute to gum disease are teeth grinding, crooked teeth and missing teeth.
There are no specific symptoms of gum disease. All patients should have routine screenings to check for signs of gum disease. Common signs may include:
- Bleeding gums
- Sore gums, red gums or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Persistent bad breath
Gum Disease Treatment
Dr. Parnaik will perform a periodontal screening and oral infection screening to determine the extent of infection and levels of bacteria in the mouth. Depending on your condition, one or several treatments may be recommended:
- Antibiotic rinses
- Deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the pockets of the gums
- Laser dentistry to remove diseased tissue and prevent the spread of gum disease
- Surgical procedures (performed by a periodontist)
If teeth are missing because of gum disease or an extraction is needed, Dr. Parnaik will also present options for replacing missing teeth including dental implants, dental bridges and dentures.
Cosmetic Gum Lift
A gum lift is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that removes excess gum tissue from around the teeth and creates a more natural looking smile. Dr. Parnaik often combines cosmetic gum treatments with smile makeover or full mouth reconstruction procedures.
Using laser dentistry technology, Dr. Parnaik carefully removes gum tissue and contours the gum line to expose more tooth structure. Cosmetic gum surgery is a relatively quick and painless procedure, typically complete in a single visit.