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Gum Disease - Waco, TX

Protect Your Gums with Advanced Dental Treatments

Many people think of their teeth when they hear the phrase “oral health.” However, the gums play as big of a role in your long-term oral health as your tooth enamel does. Without healthy gums, your teeth have no foundation to stand on. In fact, gum health can directly affect the health of your bone tissue, so it’s incredibly important to maintain consistent at-home oral care and dental visits. With that said, if you do develop gum disease, Dr. Cobb and Dr. Lassetter can provide comprehensive gum disease treatment in Waco.

What is Gum Disease?

A man holding his mouth in pain.

Gum disease is literally an infection of the gum tissue. When plaque builds up on the surface of teeth, it releases acids that harm your oral structures. This results in not just the erosion of tooth enamel, but also the breakdown and irritation of your gum tissue. Without treatment, this damage can become permanent, so it’s extremely important to get it treated as soon as you notice the symptoms. Keep in mind that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

A mouth with gum disease.

If your gums have ever felt tender or sensitive, it could be due to unremoved plaque releasing acids and irritating them. If you’ve ever noticed your gums bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating your favorite foods, it’s a sign that advanced gum disease has developed. If your gums are in chronic pain or you notice that you have bad breath that doesn’t go away, even after brushing and flossing, it’s because a large amount of plaque and bacteria has reached areas below the gum line.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

A patient receiving scaling and root planing treatment.

The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain routine brushing and flossing at home as well as biannual exams and cleanings at our office. This gives us a chance to confirm that your at-home care is sufficient as well as catch and treat the early signs of gum disease before it reaches the advanced stages. Preventive care is always easier to perform, and routine visits play a major role in avoiding gum disease.

What Treatments are Available?

A person with mild gum disease.

Neither a toothbrush or professional cleaning from a dentist can remove this plaque and tartar. Since the harmful bacteria has reached beneath the gum tissue, more complex procedures are required to treat your gum disease. These treatments range from surgical to non-surgical, depending on the severity.

Nonsurgical

Nonsurgical treatments include scaling, root planing, and antibiotic therapy. Scaling is designed to remove calcified plaque from areas above and below the gum line. Root planing is designed to smooth out the roots of teeth so they can better re-attach to the gums. It also reduces the risk of the gums becoming infected again. Following scaling and root planing, antibiotic therapy is performed. The antibiotic usually comes in the form of a gel that is placed inside of the deep pockets that have formed in between your teeth. Over the next several days, this gel releases antibiotics that promote healing of the gum tissue.

Surgical

More advanced measures include soft tissue laser treatment, which uses concentrated beams of light to gently and precisely remove infected gum tissue. Crown lengthening works to remove damaged tissue while also making the gum line more even. While it’s often used for cosmetic purposes, it can also be performed during periodontal therapy.

Cost of Treating Gum Disease

During your detailed exam, we’ll be better able to confirm the exact cost of your treatment depending on the severity of your gum disease. Surgical treatments are generally more expensive than non-surgical forms, but they may not always be necessary. The last thing you should do is put off treatment as gum disease does not get better on its own once it has developed.