Periodontal disease is a progressive disease that can damage the integrity of the health and function of the smile. Along with dental cavities, periodontal disease it is one of the leading causes for tooth loss. More than three-quarters of adults are affected by gum disease, which is mostly caused by bacterial plaque build-up. Other contributing factors to gum disease may include teeth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, tobacco use, hormonal changes (as in pregnancy or menopause), and poor nutrition.
Dr. John C. Cranham specializes in the prevention, treatment and management of gum disease and other periodontal concerns in the Norfolk, VA area. Early diagnosis, diligent at home oral hygiene and effective treatment from Dr. Cranham are essential to avoiding the progression of periodontal disease.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Stages of Gum disease
There are two key stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms. Typically, patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages, when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated. This is why it’s crucial to have Dr. Cranham perform a thorough exam for gum disease in his Norfolk, VA dentist office.
Gingivitis: An early stage gum disease, gingivitis is typically easy to treat but may require additional at home care to prevent it from returning. Patients with recurring gingivitis may benefit from more frequent dental cleanings in our dentist office.
Periodontitis: An advanced gum disease, periodontitis can cause permanent damage to gum tissue and weaken the teeth. This often requires intensive treatment to address damage and restore oral health.
Periodontal Therapy: Treating Gum Disease
After an evaluation of your oral health, Dr. Cranham will recommend appropriate and necessary treatment for restoring healthy gums. As disease progresses, it deepens the pockets between the teeth and the gums, pulling the gum tissue away from the teeth and exposing sensitive root structure. This can lead to pain, sensitivity and loose teeth.
For gingivitis, an intense cleaning process to remove plaque and tartar along the gum line can be effective. Scaling and root planning is often sufficient to remove early infection and enable healing to occur. More advanced disease may need more invasive treatment to restore healthy gums.
Dr. Cranham may recommend the use of a soft tissue dental laser to remove diseased tissue and promote the natural healing process. This may be necessary if gum disease has advanced or affected the shape of the gums. Using a soft tissue dental laser, Norfolk, VA dentist Dr. Cranham can offer comfortable, accurate treatment for periodontal disease that may have previously required oral surgery.
Enhancing Your Smile With Laser Dentistry
Dr. Cranham can enhance the aesthetics of your smile with laser dentistry, treating common cosmetic concerns such as a “gummy smile”. Soft tissue lasers can be used for crown lengthening, gingivectomy and a range of treatments to improve the health and appearance of your gums.
Schedule A Consultation
Laser dentistry may be the solution to your cosmetic gum concerns or gum disease. To learn more about treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Cranham in our Norfolk, VA and Chesapeake, VA area dentist office. Call us directly at 757-656-4109 or request an appointment online.