What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a serious issue that affects roughly half of adults over 30 in the U.S. It’s primarily caused by poor oral hygiene, such as failing to brush and floss every day or neglecting your regular dental appointments. This allows the bacteria in your mouth to build up, forming sticky deposits called plaque on the surface of your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed, it hardens to form tartar, which contributes to the decay of your teeth and gums.
There are two primary stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis — This is the early stage of gum disease that describes inflammation in your gums. During this phase, your tissues will become red, swollen, and tender, sometimes bleeding easily. If you don’t seek treatment right away, your infection can advance to the more severe stage known as periodontitis.
- Periodontitis — At this point, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth and form infected “pockets.” Meanwhile, plaque and tartar will continue to grow below your gum line, breaking down the bone and connective tissue. As a result, periodontitis frequently leads to tooth loss.
Treatments for Gum Disease
Gingivitis can typically be eliminated with improved oral care at home. If this isn’t effective, Dr. Cooper can perform a scaling and root planing procedure. Also known as a deep cleaning, this treatment involves using specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar from below your gumline, before smoothing out your tooth roots so your gum tissue can reattach.
Peridontitis is more difficult to treat than gingivitis, often requiring surgical intervention. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice the first signs of infected gum tissue.
Gum & Tooth Sensitivity
Gum disease can expose your tooth roots to the elements, including all foods and liquids you consume every day. When your gums become infected, your tooth roots become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. This can be extremely uncomfortable and patients who experience this problem should call us right away.
We feature two convenient procedures at our practice to treat your exposed tooth roots. These treatments include:
- Gum Lift (Laser) — We perform gum lifts to create a more even gum line. If you have a gummy smile, Dr. Cooper can quickly and safely remove your unwanted tissue with a specialized laser, exposing more of your teeth to achieve a beautiful smile. Best of all, this method reduces your discomfort and doesn’t require anesthetic.
- Gum Graft — Root exposure resulting from gingival tissue recession can lead to a variety of problems, including toothaches and sensitivity to hot and cold. A gingival tissue graft will restore the proper gum tissue structure around your tooth, relieving your symptoms and enhancing your smile.
Visit Dr. Cooper for Gum Problems
If you’re suffering from any symptoms of gum disease, get in touch with us right away so we can provide the proper treatment. No matter which stage your infection has reached, Dr. Cooper will work with you to find the least invasive and most affordable solution.
Contact our practice in San Jose to schedule your initial consultation.