It’s natural to focus on teeth when considering an attractive smile. But you can’t have a healthy, attractive smile without healthy gums. That’s why Dr. Charles Betts checks for signs of periodontal (gum) disease during every dental exam. When he finds evidence of it, he treats it with a deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing.Doctor Charles Betts on gum disease treatment Read Transcript
First of all, about 80 percent of adults in the US have some degree of periodontal disease. The need is widespread. When we find periodontal disease, our goal is to get that under control and eliminate that infection from the body. And what we do now is we do a sample of the bacteria in the mouth, we place that on a slide and use a phase contrast microscope to allow both ourselves and the patient to see what's going on in their mouth. Quite frankly, when a lot of people see that, they just say, “Get that out of my mouth.” Anyway, we also do bacterial DNA testing so that we can actually have a concrete record of what bacteria are present. And therefore our treatment is guided.
We're not treating every case the same, because people have different infections in their mouth. And some of that can be systemic antibiotics, it will be irrigation with ultrasonics under the gum, and of course just regular oral care techniques, flossing, brushing, using other interdental aides to take care of that plaque that accumulates. We like to know that we're getting to the root of the infection. We like to know that we really want to solve this person's problem. They come to us for service, and we want to provide that service.
Decatur nonsurgical gum disease treatment will:
- Help save your teeth, as gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Alleviate discomfort from painful symptoms like sensitive or bleeding gums
- Improve your smile’s appearance by keeping gums from pulling away from your teeth
- Prevent other oral health problems by removing troublesome bacteria
- Help improve your overall health, as gum disease has been linked to conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure
Of course, the best way to treat gum disease is to prevent it from occurring. So Dr. Betts and our hygienists take time during your dental appointments to educate you about gum disease and the oral health practices that will help prevent it.
Give Your Gums a Deep CleaningTreating Gum Disease at Dr. Charles F. Betts Read Transcript
Gum disease or periodontal disease is rampant in our society so it's a top priority at our practice to identify, diagnose, treat, and manage gum disease. We do that with some special cleaning measures and techniques for patients to use to take care of things at home because a large portion of taking care of gum disease is what you do at home, not just what we would do in the office. What people need to understand is that gum disease is not an isolated thing. It is something that interacts with other parts of your body, and as the years go by, we find out more and more how inflammation in the mouth can be related to health problems other places in the body. It's very important to keep that under control. There's nothing better than someone coming in with an unhealthy mouth and us able to successfully treat them and send them home with a healthy smile.
Dr. Betts eliminates gum disease with a treatment called scaling and root planing. After numbing your mouth with a local anesthetic, he’ll remove bacteria-filled plaque from around and under your gumline (scaling). Then he’ll smooth the rough areas on your tooth roots to get rid of even more disease-causing bacteria. This also makes the area conducive to new gum growth, a necessary part of the healing process.
If you’re concerned about discomfort, you can get laughing gas, which will keep you pain-free and relaxed throughout the procedure. Dr. Betts may also prescribe an antibiotic to help eliminate the bacterial infection.
Pay Attention to Gum Disease Symptoms
How do you know if you have gum disease? If you experience any of these gum disease symptoms between dental exams, give us a call. It’s easiest to treat if it’s caught in the early stage, called gingivitis. Symptoms become more serious and increase your risk of losing teeth if it advances to a stage called periodontitis.
It’s possible to have gum disease with no obvious symptoms – which is why it’s so important to visit us for regular checkups and gum disease treatment. In the early stage of gum disease, symptoms include:
- Tender gums
- Swollen, inflamed gums
- Gums that easily bleed when brushing
- Chronic bad breath
In later stages, you may also experience:
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
If you’re concerned about your gums, call 256-274-8680 for nonsurgical gum disease treatment in Decatur. We’re located near Decatur Mall.