The path to effectively treating gum disease in Boston, MA
Anjum A. Ansari, D.M.D. General & Cosmetic Dentistry gives you plenty of good reasons to smile, with proactive and non-judgmental care. The earlier Dr. Ansari diagnoses gum disease, the better. Treating gum disease in Boston, MA and elsewhere is generally more efficient and less intensive when it is detected and addressed in its earlier stages. Furthermore, we can prevent the disease from progressing as well as reverse damage caused by gingivitis.
Early gum disease: Gingivitis
At this point, the disease is primarily characterized by inflammation of the tissues that support and surround the teeth. The most common cause of gingivitis is inconsistent or inadequate oral hygiene. We’ll show you ways to more effectively clean between teeth, and may provide tools to better reach back teeth or hard-to-clean areas, such as under dental bridges. If crowding makes it difficult for you to floss properly, we can also discuss ways to address this challenge with easy-to-wear and easy-to-care-for orthodontic treatment like Invisalign®.
Additionally, the American Academy of Periodontology’s interactive gum disease risk assessment accounts for a patient’s age, habits and behaviors, pre-existing conditions, and genetics; for instance, it is estimated that 50 percent of gum disease has a genetic component. You may also be at increased risk of developing gum disease due to conditions such as diabetes and the use of tobacco products. Since we get to know our patients, we can identify conditions that seem to run in families early for the most proactive treatment. We will also tailor specific recommendations based on your risks.
It’s always helpful to watch for potential signs of early gum disease, including:
- Gums that appear more red than usual
- Swelling of gum tissue
- Gums that are tender or painful when touched
- Blood on your toothbrush or floss
- Persistent bad breath
Advanced gum disease: Periodontitis
Hygiene modifications and cleanings at our office can successfully resolve gingivitis. The condition may progress to periodontitis if plaque builds and flourishes underneath the gum line. When the bacteria in the plaque trigger a damaging immune response, the healthy attachment of the gums to the teeth erodes. The pockets or spaces that are created between teeth harbor even more bacteria and toxins. Periodontitis calls for more aggressive treatment, from deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) to oral and topical antibiotics or restorative treatments such as tissue grafts.
At this point, you may experience the signs listed above and:
- New spaces between teeth
- Chronic foul taste
- Loose teeth
- Problems with how your upper and lower teeth fit together
- A “long in the tooth” appearance, as the gums separate and reveal more of a tooth’s crown
In its earliest stages, there may be no signs whatsoever of gum disease. This truth underscores the need to visit Dr. Ansari regularly for exams. So, she can detect early erosion or inflammation when it’s easiest to successfully treat. Call (617) 581-0689 to schedule your appointment at our West End office.