Your mouth is a fascinating place. It sounds odd, but it’s right. Scientists refer to your mouth as a human oral microbiome, meaning millions of bacteria live there. No one knows how many species are there, but the estimate is about 500-600. Most of these bacteria live on the teeth and tongue, and some in the cheeks and oral mucosa.
The good news is that the majority of these bacteria are good. Unfortunately, the harmful bacteria can increase rapidly if oral hygiene isn’t good enough. When harmful bacteria are allowed to thrive in your mouth, they result in gum or periodontal disease.
If you suspect gum disease in Arcata, California, treat it immediately before it causes irreversible damage to your smile. Barsanti Dental Group offers periodontal therapy to maintain good oral health.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Plaque constantly forms in your mouth as food debris mixes with saliva and harmful bacteria. When you fail to remove plaque with brushing and flossing, it calcifies into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar contains harmful bacteria that infect the gum tissues, causing gingivitis that exhibits symptoms like:
Gum disease is unforgiving when you fail to take prompt action. If you don’t address gingivitis, it advances into periodontitis, which damages the gingival ligaments, causing your gums to pull away (recede) from the teeth. Gum recession creates spaces called “pockets” that further encourage bacterial invasion. Gum disease doesn’t stop here. Untreated periodontitis can erode teeth-supporting structures, causing tooth loss!
Periodontal therapy is an array of treatments administered to treat gum disease. However, the treatment depends on the extent or stage of the gum disease. Gum disease at the early stage is usually treatable with diligent oral hygiene, regular dental hygiene treatments and making a few lifestyle tweaks like cutting back on sugary foods and quitting smoking.
However, moderate to severe periodontal disease requires advanced treatments to restore gum health. The go-to treatment for moderate gum disease is a two-barreled treatment combining scaling and root planing or Active Periodontal Therapy to eliminate gum disease-causing bacteria. Scaling removes tartar and gum disease underneath the gums, while root planing smoothes out the roots to promote gum healing.
Advanced periodontitis may require surgical interventions like gum flap surgery to restore gum health. Unfortunately, traditional surgery for gum disease uses scalpels that can be invasive. Our dentistry uses laser technology (LAPT) to treat gum disease conservatively.
This minimally invasive procedure uses a narrow, focused light to remove the diseased tissue while keeping the healthy ones intact. You don’t have to worry about scalpels and sutures with laser gum disease treatment. LAPT provides a far less invasive procedure with accelerated healing time.