Gum Disease Treatment in Fayetteville, AR
Nearly half of all Americans suffer from periodontal (gum) disease, a serious infection in your gums that can cause pain, inflammation, tooth loss, bad breath, and serious systemic health conditions.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease usually occurs due to poor oral hygiene and lack of professional dental cleanings. When plaque builds up on your teeth, it becomes home to millions of bacteria that cause inflammation and infection beneath your gums. Even if you practice diligent home care, you will not be able to remove all of the plaque or tartar from your teeth. That is why regular dental cleanings are so important.
Early periodontal disease, called gingivitis, may be reversible in its early stages with a good home care regimen as well as professional dental cleanings. Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If nothing is done to treat your gum disease, the infection can spread and destroy the structures that support your teeth. Eventually, your teeth can become so loose that you may need an extraction.
Gum disease in its later stages, called periodontitis, can result in permanent bone and tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is the number one reason for tooth loss.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Early gum disease may have only subtle symptoms, and as it progresses, symptoms may become severe. They can include:
- Bad breath
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Pus along your gum line
Certain factors can increase your chances of having gum disease:
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Teeth grinding
- Weakened immune system
- Hormonal changes including pregnancy
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications
- Substance abuse
- Viral or fungal infections
No matter the cause, we can usually improve your oral health with a customized treatment plan designed to eliminate the infection and restore your oral health.
The easiest way to treat gum disease is through prevention. With a good home care routine and regular professional dental cleanings, you can often avoid periodontal disease. If you have particular health challenges, share those with us so we can work with you to protect your oral health.
If you have gum disease, treatment will vary based on the severity of your condition and your overall health. Typically, we will start with a specialized cleaning that will remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria above and below your gum line so that your gums can heal properly. We may recommend site specific antibiotics or an oral rinse to assist with healing.
We may recommend more frequent cleanings until your health is back on track. In cases of advances periodontal disease, we may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease. We work closely with specialists to monitor your treatment and condition.
Do You Have Symptoms of Gum Disease?
If you received a gum disease diagnosis or if you suspect you may have gum disease, contact our Fayetteville, AR dental office to schedule an evaluation. Dr. Scott Stephens will alert you if you have any conditions and help you make treatment decisions to support your health.
Call Scott J. Stephens Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today and protect your overall health with quality dental care.