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Fighting Gum Disease in Las Cruces

man with dark hair in plaid shirt smilingPeriodontal, gum, disease effects more than 50% of US adults over 30, and periodontitis, advanced gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss for patients over the age of 35. Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to a number chronic and systemic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. For these reasons, it’s essential that patients undergo regular preventive screening for gum disease during six month checkups, and receive treatment to reverse the damaging effects of periodontal disease in the earliest stages. Contact Painted Skies Dental Center to find out more today.

Scaling & Root Planing

To treat the mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, more frequent professional cleanings and using a prescription mouth rinse at home each day is typically adequate to reverse the damage to oral health. However, once gum disease reaches the more advanced stages an in depth treatment option is necessary. In most cases, we recommend a combination of two treatments: scaling, the removal of plaque and tartar buildup at and below the gum line, and root planing, the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future buildup. This process is typically completed with just local anesthesia to numb the areas to be treated. Using a number of picks, scalpels, and smoothing tools, the dentist carefully chips away all the plaque and tartar that irritate gums to prevent the loss of soft tissue leading to gum recession and potential tooth loss. This procedure may need to be completed one or more times, and can also be performed using a soft tissue laser, and we may combine scaling and root planing with antibiotic therapy to ensure long term success.

Soft Tissue Laser

In most cases, we’ll recommend scaling and root planing be completed using a soft tissue laser. This treatment method reduces discomfort and bleeding during the procedure, and in most cases, patients don’t need sutures following laser therapy decreasing healing time and reducing the risk for reinfection. The soft tissue laser is able to cauterize the damaged area as it works making treatment and healing time faster and easier and promoting the reattachment of tissue to the tooth.

Antibiotic Therapy

Plaque is the byproduct of bacteria that live in our mouth breaking down foods and extracting nutrients. When the amount of plaque excreted by bacteria overwhelms the saliva’s ability to neutralize the acidity of plaque, tooth decay or gum disease may occur. For this reason, topical antibiotics may be applied in the area affected by gum disease. This keeps bacteria from populating the area reducing plaque buildup and allowing the gums to successfully heal and reattach.