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According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), gum disease affects almost 65 million American adults, making it one of the most widespread chronic diseases nationwide. When left untreated, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can lead to tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone degeneration. Since advanced gum disease can lead to serious oral and overall health complications, Dr. Chan Wilkhu and Dr. Mark Moffitt recommend visiting their office in Merritt Island, FL, as soon as symptoms begin to show. To provide treatment that suits your level of concern, we can perform both scaling and root planing and periodontal repair using Waterlase® laser technology.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that almost half of all American adults currently have some form of gum disease. Certain risk factors can increase your risk of gum disease including:
Fortunately, there are clear signs and symptoms which might indicate gum disease. These include:
Early diagnosis is necessary for providing you with the most effective treatment options. We encourage you to contact our office as soon as you notice these symptoms.
If you think you may have gum disease, it is important that you visit our office as soon as possible. When left untreated, gum disease can develop into a more serious form called periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when the tartar that covers your teeth extends below the gum line and is impossible to reach without professional treatment. This bacteria can attack your tooth structure and gum tissue, causing gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss.
By diagnosing and treating gum disease in its earliest stages, we can help you prevent tooth loss and jawbone atrophy.
Advanced gum disease can also contribute to serious overall health issues. Research by the AAP has found that men with gum disease are nearly 50 percent more likely to develop certain cancers. The devastating health effects of gum disease are not limited to your oral health, but can also have life-changing consequences.
To evaluate your level of gum disease, Dr. Wilkhu or Dr. Moffitt will check for swelling, redness, and deep gum pockets. If you have mild to moderate gum disease, we will recommend scaling and root planing. During this procedure, we will remove tartar and plaque beneath the gum line. Once the surface of the tooth is free of bacteria, we will smooth out the roots to prevent further bacteria from attaching to your tooth. For most patients, we use Arestin, an antibiotic that eliminates the presence of bacteria before bringing you back to our office to reassess the depth of your gum pockets and the success of the treatment.
If we do not see an improvement in the depth of your gum pockets during your follow-up appointment, we may recommend laser gum therapy. We use Biolase Waterlase® to perform this treatment and have achieved extremely positive results. The Waterlase® technique, referred to as REPAIR Perio™, offers several benefits over gum flap surgery, which is the traditional method of treating advanced periodontal disease. These advantages include a flawless technique, no sutures, and no incisions. If we determine that your condition is too progressed to treat at our office, we can refer out and coordinate treatment with an outside specialist. We can also help restore gum tissue lost as a result of gum disease through gum grafting.
By diagnosing and treating gum disease in its earliest stages, we can help you prevent tooth loss and jawbone atrophy. These conditions require more complex, invasive, and expensive treatment than gum treatment. Additionally, our use of laser dentistry helps treat advanced periodontal issues without incisions and with reduced anesthesia. Schedule a dental exam today with Dr. Chan Wilkhu or Dr. Mark Moffitt through our online contact form or call our office at (321) 459-2444.