Gum disease and gum health

Periodontal or gum disease happens when bacteria gets below the gum line and the attachment between the gum and tooth is lost. Three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only 3 out of 100 will ever get treated before its too late.

Healthy gums are the foundation of good oral hygiene.

Gum disease is a silent, chronic, painless and communicable bacterial infection that often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction is unbearable and no longer able to be ignored. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and traditional treatment can hurt.

The latest conservative gum therapy uses a laser. The laser gently disinfects and evaporates diseased tissues from around the tooth and inside the gum pocket. This treatment interrupts the bacterial destruction of the tissues and bone, giving the gum pocket a chance to heal. Systematic repeated visits, generally 2-8, allow the gum pocket to be disease-free and sometimes allow tissues to reattach to the pocket to a normal or near-normal depth.

This new laser therapy is gentle, less painful, and has a quick recovery. While surgery may still be indicated for severely advanced periodontal cases, laser therapy is a much more conservative, effective and comfortable option for beginning to moderate periodontal cases.

Laser gum therapy

Treating periodontal infection has advanced with technology that allows our dental office to treat periodontal disease with a non surgical approach by using a periodontal laser. The periodontal laser uses light energy to decontaminate the diseased gums and promote the reattachment and strengthening of the gums to the teeth. This sophisticated laser will remove the “bad” bacteria and leave the “good” bacteria, and the laser has been proven to be more effective than antibiotics since there is no bacterial resistance to the laser. This prevents further bacteria from entering the pockets and minimizing the infection.

The procedure is painless and does not the cut the gums. Determining on a patient’s periodontal diagnosis, we are able to identify how many laser therapy appointments a patient will need. Patients are given home care instructions to assist the laser in promoting healthier tissue by proper removal of plaque which is one of the culprits of periodontal disease. Upon the completion of the periodontal laser therapy appointments, the patient is placed on a more frequent maintenance cleaning to closely monitor and stabilize the patient’s periodontal health.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Periodontal Disease

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

Oral Cancer Screenings

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:

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Oral Cancer Screenings | Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort
  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

Patient Registration

Please preregister with our office by filling out our secure online Patient Registration Form. After you have completed the form, please make sure to press the Submit button at the bottom to automatically send us your information. The security and privacy of your personal data is one of our primary concerns and we have taken every precaution to protect it by using this system.

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When can I schedule a visit?

Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort is open Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We will reserve your appointment as promptly as possible. If you have pain or an emergency situation, every attempt will be made to see you that day.

Is there a waiting list?

We try our best to stay on schedule to minimize your waiting. Due to the fact that Dr. Jennifer Wallace provides many types of dental services, various circumstances may lengthen the time allocated for a procedure. Emergency cases can also arise and cause delays. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

“A Healthy Bite Pertains To More Than Just Your Teeth”

Jennifer Wallace, DMD