Gum disease is a common but highly damaging problem caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth. As bacteria grow and irritate the gum tissue, it can lead to gum recession and tooth loss. Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is a precursor to gum disease, marked by swollen, red, and bleeding gums. Once gingivitis becomes periodontitis or gum disease, it is more difficult to treat. Gum disease can also create more oral health problems like blood clots and inflammation. Once the oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, they affect the arteries and create clots. Gum inflammation can weaken the immune system and lead to heart problems. Contact our office for restorative dental care with gum disease treatment in Fleming Island, FL.
Causes and Signs of Gum Disease
Common causes of gum disease often include:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: The most common cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Plaque, a sticky bacterial film, can build up on the teeth and gums. Over time, plaque hardens to form tartar, which is even more difficult to remove than plaque. Harmful bacteria irritate the gum tissue and lead to gum disease.
- Tobacco Use: Cigarettes, vapes, and other products that contain nicotine leave the gums prone to oral health issues. Nicotine also slows gum healing.
- Genetic Predisposition: Patients with a genetic predisposition for gum disease are six times more likely to develop periodontitis.
- Pregnancy and Menopause: Hormonal changes leave women more susceptible to gum disease.
- Chronic Stress and Poor Diet: Malnutrition and stress affect the immune system and its ability to fight off problems like gum disease.
- Medications and Medical Conditions: Heart medicines, anti-depressants, and steroids can increase the risk of gum disease. Also, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis are linked to gum disease.
Gum disease can emerge through many symptoms, including:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum sensitivity
- Swollen and irritated gums
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
Please contact us if you have noticed any of these symptoms or changes in your gum health. We’re here to help. We ask that patients let us know about any medical conditions or medications so we can find the source of their gum disease.
Treating Gum Disease in Fleming Island, FL
There are multiple treatment methods we can offer patients with gingivitis and periodontitis to minimize their symptoms:
Our dental office provides oral antibiotics to minimize harmful bacteria that cause gum disease:
- Tetracycline Antibiotics: These medicines have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that block the collagenase protein that destroys connective tissues.
- Macrolide Antibiotics: These antibiotics help reduce bacterial growth and inflammation.
- Metronidazole: Often used with amoxicillin or tetracycline for patients who experience chronic gum problems.
We also recommend these topical medications:
- Atridox®: This medication solidifies over the gum surface and releases medication over several days.
- PerioChip®: A PerioChip is placed in a gum pocket and slowly releases the antibacterial antiseptic Chlorhexidine.
- Actisite®: This thin, floss-like strip contains tetracycline hydrochloride. It is placed between a tooth and gums to kill bacteria and reduce large gum pockets.
- Elyzol®: This topical, gel, or strip medication destroys bacteria.
- Arestin®: We typically use Arestin after scaling and root planing procedures to help heal the gum tissue.
Scaling and Root Planing
We use stainless steel dental tools to remove plaque and tartar from the mouth during this deep cleaning treatment. Scaling removes bacteria from and beneath the gum tissue. Root planing removes plaque and tartar from the tooth roots, helping them reattach to the gums.
A gingivectomy is a procedure that removes gum tissue. We offer gingivectomies for patients who need to remove infected gum tissue. While a gingivectomy is traditionally a surgery, we can use a handheld dental laser to precisely cut the tissue and contour the gums.
Contact Our Dental Office
Do you have any symptoms of gum inflammation or periodontitis? Call 904-284-9911 or request a dental consultation with our team online.