Periodontal Treatment

Are you looking for periodontal treatment in Amherst, NH?

If the foundation of your house were compromised, you would do everything in your power to fix it, right? After all, your home cannot stand without a firm and stable foundation.

It is the same principle for your teeth because your gums and the bone they are rooted in are their foundation. If your gums aren't healthy, your teeth are in jeopardy.

Periodontal (gum) disease affects more than half of American adults in some form, and worse yet, many people don't even know they have it because gum disease typically begins without a lot of pain or symptoms to accompany it. 

Dr. Kenneth Edwards and his team can help you protect yourself from the damage that gum disease causes with regular screenings and periodontal treatment in Amherst, NH that will get you back on the path to wellness. Contact our dental office today at (603) 673-0782 to schedule your next cleaning and checkup.

What Is Gum Disease in Amherst, NH?

Your gums and your jawbone provide support and keep your teeth healthy and functioning optimally. Periodontal disease is an infection of your gums and bone that could result in tooth loss if it's not successfully managed. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.

The cause of gum disease is typically poor nutrition and insufficient dental hygiene. The infection occurs when plaque builds up around your teeth and causes your gums to become irritated and inflamed. Plaque buildup can also result in your gums separating from your teeth, allowing the bacteria to descend below the gum line and the infection then begins to attack your bone. This is when tooth loss becomes a real possibility.

While gum disease is usually caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar (hardened plaque), it can also be caused by hormonal changes, some types of illness, or sometimes certain medications.

The Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease often goes undiagnosed since there are very few symptoms in the beginning. This is why visiting your Amherst dentist every six months for checkups and screenings for conditions like gum disease and tooth decay are so important. Treating gum disease is more effective and less invasive the earlier it is detected.

Gingivitis

The first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. In this early stage of gum disease, you may notice that your gums are red, swollen, or irritated. They may also bleed during brushing or flossing. Bad breath that doesn't go away is another sign that you might have gingivitis.

You can often successfully manage gingivitis with upgrades and improvements to your home care routine; and in some cases, a thorough professional cleaning may also help to reverse the condition.

Periodontitis

Advanced gum disease is known as periodontitis. In this stage, the damage is starting to occur. You may notice a bad taste in your mouth, your gums are beginning to recede, or your teeth may begin to feel mobile. Amherst dentist, Dr. Edwards may recommend a few different treatment options depending on the severity of your periodontal disease:

  • A thorough deep cleaning called scaling, and root planing may be recommended to remove hardened plaque buildup called tartar from below the gum line
  • Antibiotic therapy helps combat the infection
  • Surgery may be needed to preserve your teeth in severe cases of periodontitis

We can perform many of the treatments for gum disease here in our Amherst dental office, but Dr. Edwards may refer you to a periodontal specialist if surgery is required.

The Oral Systemic Connection

Think of your mouth as the gateway to your entire body. Another reason that it is so essential to protect your dental health from gum disease is the fact that science has found a clear connection between your oral health and many other chronic conditions that affect the body, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Low birth weight in babies

When you are diligent about maintaining excellent dental health, it is beneficial for your overall well-being. Think of your Amherst dentist as an integral member of your entire health care team.

Treating Periodontal Disease

The bad news about periodontitis is that there is no cure for the disease; however, you can learn to successfully manage your condition with an improved home care routine and additional cleanings with your dentist throughout the year to keep your gum disease under control.

The good news is that gum disease in Amherst is entirely preventable, and you can often reverse gingivitis when it is detected early on. Ensuring that you are brushing twice daily and flossing at least once using proper techniques is an excellent way to improve your home care routine and prevent or eliminate gingivitis. Your dental hygienist is happy to provide a demonstration on the right way to brush and floss your teeth to effectively remove bacteria and plaque buildup.

You might also talk with Dr. Edwards about certain products you can add into your home care routine to give it a boost, such as an antibacterial mouth rinse. A mouth rinse can give you additional protection against the bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease with the added benefit of also freshening your breath. It's also quick and easy to add into your daily brushing routine.

If you are having trouble brushing your teeth effectively, you might consider switching to an electric toothbrush. This type of toothbrush does a lot of the hard work of cleaning your teeth for you by timing your brushing session and ensuring that you are not pressing too hard while you brush. Many people are more successful at removing plaque and bacteria from their teeth with an electric toothbrush.

Protect Yourself and Your Family From Gum Disease

Your six-month cleanings and checkups are another essential way to protect yourself from gum disease and the damage it causes. Dr. Edwards can detect gingivitis early on, and help you manage and eliminate it before it becomes a more significant problem for your dental health and overall well-being.

Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is another way to protect your oral health. Fruits and vegetables give your immune system a boost and increase saliva flow, which neutralizes the harmful acids in your mouth and protects your teeth and gums.

If you are a smoker, please consider quitting. Besides the excellent health benefits quitting smoking provides for your body, it is also beneficial for your dental health. Smoking weakens the body's immune system making you more susceptible to developing gum disease and your condition harder to manage once you do.

Did you know that smokers are two times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers? Treatment for gum disease is often less effective for smokers as well. Talk with Dr. Edwards for helpful ideas on how you can quit smoking.

Contact Our Amherst Dental Office

Dr. Edwards and his team are your partners in achieving and maintaining optimum oral health. If you need gum disease treatment in Amherst, NH, our team is well equipped to help you. Call us today at (603) 673-0782 to schedule your next appointment.