Did you know that gum disease, not cavities, is the most common oral health issue in the US? Recent estimates from the CDC are that about 50% of the adult population has at least a mild form of it, and many are completely unaware. In addition to causing red and swollen gums, this infection can often lead to tooth loss, and it’s even considered a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. That’s why we take care of our patients’ gums as well as their teeth here at DFW Absolute Dental. If your gums are feeling a little more tender or sensitive lately, give us a call today so we can keep your smile (and health) protected!
If we discover that a patient has gum disease, our first step will be to thoroughly clean the gums and teeth using a procedure called scaling & root planing. First, an ultrasonic cleaner removes any plaque and tartar deposits from below the gum line (scaling), and then the roots of the teeth are gently smoothed out (root planing). Why do this? This makes plaque less likely to gather on the gums in the future, protecting a patient from reinfection.
Gum recession, in which the gums literally pull away from the teeth, is one of the most common symptoms of gum disease. This not only affects the appearance of the smile, but it also makes the teeth more likely to develop decay on the sensitive roots. To fix this problem, a painful gum graft used to be the only answer. Fortunately, however, Dr. Shahdad is trained to use the much less invasive Chao Pinhole Technique.
For this, she simply makes a tiny hole in the gums where they have receded, and using special tools, she can slowly and gently work the gum tissue back into its original position. Compared to a gum graft, this procedure is much faster, more comfortable, and recovery is much shorter and easier as well!
After an initial gum cleaning, Dr. Shahdad may choose to apply a topical antibiotic called Arestin in order to eliminate any lingering bacteria still present beneath the gums. Arestin goes onto the gums and quickly dries, and over the next few days, it slowly dissolves, enabling the powerful medicine to reach even the most deeply hidden bacteria. Once this process is over, we’ll recommend that a patient come in more often for regular dental cleanings to ensure the infection doesn’t come back.