Gum disease remains a leading cause of tooth loss and poor oral health among patients today. Routine dental care with Tarheel Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill can significantly reduce your risk of developing gum disease and plays a key role in the maintenance of lifelong dental health.
Dr. Cook screens for the signs of gum disease during routine dental visits and our team offers personalized care and advice for managing chronic periodontal concerns to help patients keep their gums healthy and stable between visits.
Healthy gums support strong and stable teeth.
Tarheel Family Dentistry places an emphasis on the maintenance of your gum health as part of your preventive care dentistry in our office. The gums play an important role in both oral and overall health and wellness.
Keeping the gums healthy has been shown to reduce the risk of major health concerns such as cardiovascular disease and systemic related disease. Poor gum health can lead to tooth damage, changes in the fit of your bite, and shifting of your teeth.
Periodontal Therapy What to Expect
Dr. Cook will screen for the common signs of gum disease during your routine dental visits. When patients visit twice a year we can spot the early signs of gum disease and prevent progression with appropriate treatment that is often conservative in nature.
The first step is to determine the stage of your gum disease and if there is any tissue damage that needs to be addressed. Dr. Cook will assess the condition of your gums and recommend the most suitable treatment options for removing plaque and enabling your gums to heal. Treatment options can include:
Antibacterial rinse: the most conservative approach to early stage gingivitis, we may recommend using an anti-bacterial rinse as part of your daily oral hygiene routine to minimize plaque on the teeth and gums. This may also be prescribed as an ongoing regimen for patients with chronic gum disease.
Scaling and root planing: a thorough cleaning of all tooth surfaces and along the gumline, scaling and root planing also removes plaque from deep pockets where tooth roots may be exposed. The goal is to remove bacteria and allow the gum tissue to begin to heal and regenerate to avoid larger problems with the teeth.
Oral surgery: for patients with periodontitis, advanced gum disease, Dr. Cook may coordinate care with a local oral surgeon to remove or repair damaged gum tissue and set the stage for the healing process.
Chronic Gum Disease
There is a range of reasons for chronic gum disease and our team will work with you to manage your gum health on an individual basis. We may recommend that you visit with us a bit more frequently to keep the gums healthy and will often make suggestions for additional at home care, including anti-bacterial rinses.
Patients who have certain medical conditions, including diabetes, may find that the health of their gums has been compromised. There are also medications that can affect saliva production, leading to a condition called dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause increase your risk for periodontal disease in addition to causing bad breath and general discomfort for many patients.