Non-Surgical Options for Gum Disease

When taking care of your smile, there are several problems you need to avoid. A common condition that affects our patients is gum disease. Nearly one-third of adults will have some form of gum disease at one point in their lives. Gum disease is a condition that affects the gums and its supporting structures. Without treatment, gum disease will continue to worsen. This may lead to inflammation, gum recession, tooth loss, and even impact your overall health. Fortunately, you can talk to your periodontist about non-surgical treatment options to manage and treat gum disease. 

Non-Surgical Options for Gum Disease

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth and along the gum line. This can lead to inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. If not addressed, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. This is a stage of disease where the infection affects the deeper structures supporting the teeth.

You should look out for these common symptoms:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose or shifting teeth

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

When you find out you have gum disease, you must talk to your dentist as soon as possible. Otherwise, gum disease will continue to worsen. However, there are several non-surgical options to fight gum disease.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure performed by a dental hygienist or dentist. It involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gum line. This procedure helps to eliminate the bacteria causing gum disease and removes the rough spots on the tooth roots where bacteria can collect. It allows the gums to heal and reattach to the teeth.

After initial treatment, regular dental cleanings every 3 to 6 months are essential for managing gum disease. These help to remove plaque and tartar buildup, preventing the progression of gum disease and maintaining gum health.

Topical Antibiotics

You can apply antibiotic gels, mouthwashes, or chips containing antimicrobial agents directly to the gum pockets. These antibiotics target and reduce the bacteria causing gum disease. As a result, this should promote the healing of the gums.

Antimicrobial Mouthwashes

Antimicrobial mouthwashes are available over-the-counter or prescription. They help reduce the bacteria in the mouth, which should aid in the treatment and prevention of gum disease.

Lifestyle Changes

Proper brushing and flossing techniques are crucial for preventing and managing gum disease. Your dentist can guide the best oral hygiene practices.

Additionally, smoking can worsen gum disease and hinder healing. Quitting smoking can improve gum health and overall oral health.

Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and promote gum health. Consult with your dentist or healthcare provider about incorporating vitamin C supplements into your diet.

Stress can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections, including gum disease. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help manage stress levels and promote overall well-being.