A healthy approach to management of gum disease in Richmond, VAAt the outset, gum disease may seem like a minor annoyance, yet it can have grave health consequences. A holistic program focused on prevention, early detection, and effective treatment may save your smile and your health. That is the approach Dr. Oliva Hart employs at Richmond Family Dentistry in Richmond, VA.
Do you have gum disease?Gum disease occurs when certain strains of bacteria overpopulate in the mouth, producing excretions that irritate gum tissue. As pathogens move deeper, they attack ligaments and bone that support teeth – a condition called periodontal disease. Without gum disease treatment, your teeth loosen and require extraction, or fall out.
Common characteristics of gum disease include:
- Puffy, discolored gums – Usually the first sign of gingivitis, early-stage gum disease.
- Bleeding gums – Do you spit pink toothpaste after brushing, find red on your floss, or seep blood onto your pillowcase?
- Persistent halitosis – Diseased tissue leaves an odd taste in the mouth, foul breath.
- Tooth tenderness or sensitivity.
- Receding gums.
- Loose teeth and changes in bite.
Biological care for gum disease in Richmond, VADr. Hart and her hygiene team watch closely for these and other signs of gum disease, at your regular checkups. If a potential problem is detected, periodontal pockets are precisely measured as a further indication of gum health. DNA and pH testing with a painless saliva sample help to identify specific types of problematic oral bacteria and systemic imbalances.
The first step in gum disease management is deep cleaning, either with conventional scaling and root planing, or ultrasonic scaling. This procedure removes plaque and tartar and smooths root surface to encourage healthy seal of gums to teeth. It also sanitizes periodontal pockets.
If deep cleaning is not enough and the gum tissue is damaged and needs to be removed, periodontal laser therapy may be recommended as a noninvasive method for treating gum disease. With the help of a laser, Dr. Hart can precisely remove the diseased tissue without resorting to traditional surgery. Once this tissue has been removed, plaque and tartar will also be removed from below the gumline to restore your smile to good health.
Based on DNA test results, you receive a personalized treatment plan for continued improvement and maintenance of gum health. It may involve nutritional counseling, natural oils or homeopathic remedies to reduce inflammation, oral probiotics, instruction on proper brushing technique, and more frequent recheck appointment. For most patients, this strategy avoids the need for flap surgery, surgical removal of diseased tissue, and bone or gum grafting.
Contact Dr. Olivia Hart of Richmond Family Dentistry to receive biological treatment for gum disease. Click here to make an appointment now or call (804) 381-6238 to learn more.