So oftentimes we see patients who perhaps it's been a little while since their last exam and checkup, sometimes time just flies past, and they forget about us. So they'll come back in and they may have some deposits of tartar on their teeth that we need to address above and below the gum line. Our dental hygienists are very good at those procedures. They are able to all administer local anesthesia if the patient's sensitive.
And sometimes we use just a gel anesthesia around the teeth, which works for the majority of patients. That allows them to get in there, give them a thorough cleaning without causing them pain, which is our first concern. So for those patients, typically it might take one or two visits to get the gums healthy again, but usually, they do respond well to that treatment.
And then we try to follow up with them more frequently after that just to make sure that the time doesn't pass again.
Healthy gums are just as important to your oral health as healthy teeth, if not more so. But almost half of adults over age 30 have gum (periodontal) disease. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and studies have linked it to serious health conditions like ulcers and diabetes. We take gum disease seriously in our Nashua, NH dentist office. Dr. James Kiehl and Dr. Stephen Cohen include a gum disease screening during dental exams. In its early stages, we can eliminate it with a thorough dental cleaning. And we use gum disease treatment procedures such as laser dentistry to treat more advanced cases.
Call Nashua Family Dentistry at 603-546-7460 for a gum disease screening.
How We Treat Gum Disease
If a dental cleaning doesn’t take care of gum disease, we use a treatment called scaling and root planing. We deep clean your teeth and their roots, then smooth your roots to help prevent bacteria from collecting underneath your gumline. To ensure you feel no discomfort, we can numb the area with anesthesia.
If scaling and root planning isn’t enough to take care of the problem, we can use a soft-tissue laser to gently sanitize periodontal pockets. This promotes healing and eliminates the cause of the infection, without the pain and hassle of surgical procedures with a scalpel.
Advantages of laser dentistry over traditional surgical treatments include:
- Quicker procedure
- Faster healing
- Practically pain-free
Gum Disease Explained
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that gets below your gums and creates “pockets” where even more bacteria can collect. As your body tries to fight this infection, it begins breaking down the tissue and bone surrounding your teeth.
You’ll likely have tender, inflamed gums in the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis. As the disease progresses, it destroys not just tissue but bone. This stage is called periodontitis, and it’s when you can begin losing teeth.
Dr. Kiehl is a member of the American Society of Implant & Reconstructive Dentistry (ASIRD), an organization committed to high quality of care for dental implant patients.