Keeping your gums healthy is important because it is the foundation for your teeth and provides stability for all of your dental work. Healthy gums have a pink color; they hug the teeth tightly and do not bleed when you brush your teeth. However, studies show that three out of four people have signs of periodontal (gum) disease. The great news is there are effective treatments available for periodontal disease. If you are diagnosed with signs of gum disease Dr. Ly will choose the most effective method of treatment to fight your infection.

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A: There are different levels of gum disease.

Healthy GumsHealthy GumsInflamed GumsInflamed GumsDiseased GumsDiseased Gums
  1. Gingivitis:
    • Gums bleed easily when you brush or when probed gently during examination.
    • Gums are inflamed and sensitive to touch.
    • Possible bad breath and bad taste.
    • Gums between teeth may look bluish-red in color.
  2. Periodontitis :
    • Gums may pull away from the teeth
    • Gum boils or abscesses may develop
    • Pronounced bleeding, puffiness, and inflammation
    • Loss of bone (horizontally on X-ray)
    • Pockets between teeth and gums are 4-6mm or above
    • Bad breath and bad taste are constant

A: To treat gum disease your provider will use a common deep-cleaning procedure known as Scaling and Root Planing (SRP). Scaling removes plaque, tartar, and stains from the surface of the teeth. Planing smooths the rough areas on the roots of teeth to promote healing. SRP is an effective way to remove the bacteria causing your infection, will help shrink the size of your periodontal pockets and manage the infection to stop it from spreading or becoming more severe. In some severe cases, antibiotics is prescribed or placed directly into the gum pockets.

A: Gum disease is an infection that should be taken seriously. Always remember that gum disease is caused by plaque buildup. Keep your mouth healthy by brushing and flossing regularly to remove plaque that you can’t see below the gum line. Remember to see your dentist at least twice a year for periodic maintenance.