Gum Disease Treatment

A doctor demonstrating to his patient something with a set of fake teeth

Specialist Care for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Our doctors are gum specialists and experts at combating gum disease. They offer a wide variety of procedures that can successfully treat the disease and reverse its negative effects.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that becomes worse over time if not properly treated. As it progresses, the disease causes increasing damage to gum and bone tissue and can eventually result in the loss of one or more teeth.

Because of the specialty periodontal training and experience of our doctors, they are often able to save teeth that otherwise might have been lost to the disease.

Skilled Gum Disease Treatment Specialists

As board-certified periodontists, our doctors have extensive advanced training in diagnosing and treating all stages of gum disease, as well as repairing the damage it causes. They trained for an additional three years after dental school to receive their specialty certifications in periodontics, and they have the ability to diagnose and treat all stages and severities of the disease properly. When needed, our doctors use advanced gum and bone grafting techniques to rebuild tissue that has been lost to the disease and help their patients keep their teeth for life.

Effective, Customized Gum Disease Treatment

Because they are specialists, our doctors have a “bigger bag of tricks” with which to combat gum disease than a general dentist does. Our doctors can provide conventional gum surgery, minimally invasive laser surgery with LANAP®, soft tissue grafting, bone grafting, antibiotic therapy and growth factors. They always choose the most effective, fastest and least invasive way to treat the disease based on each patient’s unique situation and needs.

Call our closest office or click here to schedule an appointment.

Comprehensive Exam and Diagnosis

Our doctors first conduct a comprehensive exam to discover the extent of the gum disease and determine the appropriate treatment for each patient.

During the exam, the doctor uses a thin probe and gently measures the pocket depth around each of your teeth (larger pockets indicate a more severe infection). We also take digital X-rays to get a complete picture of the gum and bone levels surrounding your teeth and, where necessary, we take a 360-degree 3D X-ray of your entire jaw using our cone beam CT scanner. The doctor will also review your medical and dental history.

A patient viewing a screen with her doctor

Our digital X-rays help us determine the extent of bone loss around your teeth.

Your Customized Treatment Plan

Our doctors will formulate a treatment plan aimed at saving your teeth and will educate you on the specifics of your case so you know exactly what is going on and what they will do for treatment. They will make sure all your questions have been answered so that you are informed and at ease.

A patient going over her treatment plan with her doctor

Deep Cleaning

One of the ways we combat periodontitis is with a full deep cleaning where we remove the accumulated bacterial plaque and calculus on the tooth surfaces above and below the gumline. We also smooth out the tooth root surface, which makes it harder for bacteria to attach to the tooth and makes it so the gums can re-attach easily.

We use ultrasonic scalers in addition to hand instruments to clean the surfaces of your teeth. The ultrasonic scalers emit high-frequency vibrations that gently remove the plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. The scalers can be adjusted for your comfort and are less invasive than standard hand instruments.

State-of-the-Art Laser Treatment

For certain cases, the doctors will use a dental laser to gently remove damaged gum tissue and eliminate bacteria from deep pockets. Click here to learn more about LANAP.

Patient Education

As part of your treatment, you will be educated on how gum disease progresses. Our hygienists will show you proper home oral care techniques to effectively maintain your oral health after treatment. You will be shown proper brushing and flossing techniques, and we will recommend the oral care products that can achieve the best results for you.

Call our closest office or click here to schedule an appointment.

A patient being educated on proper oral care for gum disease

Who Should See a Periodontist for Gum Disease Treatment?

Anyone can benefit from seeing a periodontist for gum disease treatment, but certain types of patients can especially benefit from the advanced periodontal expertise at River Valley Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. These include the following:

  • Smokers
  • People with diabetes
  • People with epilepsy
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are on certain medications, including calcium channel blockers and anticoagulants
  • People who are considering any sort of joint or orthopedic replacement surgery

For people with these circumstances, their gum disease cases are frequently more complicated and require an expert periodontist to correctly and effectively treat them.

Call our closest office or click here to schedule an appointment.

The Relationship Between Gum Disease and Overall Health

Research has shown an important link between gum disease and other serious health conditions throughout the body. Left untreated, gum disease can increase the risk of seemingly unrelated health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, certain types of cancer, respiratory disease and complications with pregnancy.

By effectively treating gum disease, our doctors will help you maintain not only your oral health but your overall health as well.

The Signs of Gum Disease/Periodontitis

Illustration showing the difference between a normal tooth and one with periodontitis

Patients are often unaware that they have gum disease because it may not cause pain until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Sometimes, the only way to detect gum disease is through a periodontal evaluation. That said, some very important warning signs for gum disease include the following:

  • Frequent bleeding of gums
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitivity in the roots of teeth
  • Any change in the way teeth fit together
  • Swelling, abscesses or pain in the gums
  • Gum recession

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with one of our doctors at River Valley Periodontics & Implant Dentistry for an expert evaluation and diagnosis right away.

Call our closest office or click here to schedule an appointment.

Real Patient Stories
Real patient Alex
“Dr. Miller made me feel so comfortable and safe under his care. I was in good hands.”