gum disease

Gum Disease

Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA

Do you have gums that are puffy, red, or bleeding? This is the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis, an infection that can do permanent damage to your oral health. Gingivitis affects nearly 80% of the population in America, yet is entirely preventable with good oral hygiene and routine dental visits. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to major consequences, such as tooth loss, bone loss as well as serious health consequences.

Gum disease even can threaten your life. Studies completed by the American Academy of Periodontology have found that gum disease patients have almost double the risk factor of developing heart disease, as bacteria from the infected gums spreads into the bloodstream causing plaque buildup in the heart vessels.

Gum disease can lead to the following health consequences:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Premature birth
  • Low-birth-weight in babies
  • Some types of cancer

The stages of gum disease

Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and is characterized by inflammation of the gums that shows when gums bleed or become red, sore, or puffy.

The next stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis, when the inflammation worsens, creating pockets in the gums – a direct entry point for bacteria entering the bloodstream. Once these pockets form, a professional dental cleaning is necessary to clean under the gum line. Once gum disease enters the stage of periodontitis, irreversible damage has been done to your oral health.

Treatment options for gum disease

  • Repetitive therapy. A combination of scaling and root planing, which is performed at intervals to combat gum disease and its effects. Anesthetic typically is used to numb the area that will be treated. Usually, repetitive therapy is performed in two visits, with one side of the mouth treated upon each visit.
  • Laser therapy. At Laser Dentistry of Erie, we can use our dental laser technology to treat gum disease. These laser treatments are more precise and take less time than traditional gum surgery, while also maintaining a greater quantity of healthy gum tissue and minimizing the amount of bleeding. The laser destroys the bacteria that causes gum disease, as well as facilitates healing of the gum tissue.
  • Arestin. Arestin is an oral antibiotic that is used to treat gum disease. Used in powder form, it is applied directly to the affected gums. It can be used as a standalone treatment for infected gums, but commonly is used immediately following a scaling and root planing.

Gum disease is a serious threat to your oral health that requires professional dental treatment. If you or a member of your family is experiencing symptoms of gum disease, act now. Contact the office of Laser Dentistry of Erie, LLC, by calling (814) 825-2615.

Laser Dentistry of Erie serves Erie, PA and the surrounding areas.