6532 North May
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

What are Gum Treatments and How They Can Help Gum Disease?

Gum Disease

What are Gum Treatments and How They Can Help Gum Disease?

Most patients worry about the dentist finding tooth decay. While tooth decay is a serious dental health concern that can result in abscessed or loose teeth, the often-overlooked gum disease can be just as serious.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is inflammation and decay of the gum tissue and jaw bone caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). Similar to tooth decay, gum disease is caused by inadequate dental hygiene. The same kind of germs and leftover food particles in the mouth settle in “pockets” where the surface of the tooth and the gum line meet. The plaque then accumulates in these areas, usually progressing under the gum line.

Gum disease starts off as gingivitis. This mildest form of gum disease can be quickly halted from progressing and can be easily reversed with improved oral hygiene.

If gingivitis isn’t treated, it progresses into periodontal disease. It is this moderate to severe form of gum disease where substantial damage to the gums and jaw bone supporting the teeth can occur. In the worst case of periodontal disease, teeth get loose and fall out. Patients with periodontal disease requires the intervention and treatment done by a dental professional.

The majority of American adults have some form of gum disease.  How do you know if you have gum disease?

Common Symptoms of Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease:

  • Sensitive Gums.
  • Bleeding Gums.
  • Swollen, Red and Inflamed Gums.
  • Receding Gums (your teeth will look unusually long).
  • Sensitive Teeth.
  • Loose Teeth.
  • Pain When Chewing.

Gum Disease Treatments

The tartar that forms on the teeth by the gum line will only be able to be removed by a dentist. Patients who don’t have extensive tartar build up can reverse the progression of their gingivitis by doing a better job with their at-home brushing and flossing.

Patients whose gingivitis has progressed into periodontal disease will often need to undergo a dental procedure called deep cleaning (also known as root scaling and planning). In this procedure, the dentist will scrape away the plaque and tartar off the teeth above and below the gum line. The root of the teeth will also be cleaned of plaque and tartar build-up. You’ll then get a clean slate.

For the most severe cases of periodontal disease, surgical treatments may be prescribed. The two most common dental surgical procedures to halt severe gum disease are: flap surgery and bone and tissue grafts.

Flap surgery is where the dentist will lift back the gums and remove the built-up tartar underneath. Flap surgery not only removes the tartar build-up, but it also reduces the depth of the periodontal pocket, making the area easier to clean and maintain in the future.

Bone and tissue grafts aim to rebuild and regrow damaged bone and gum tissue that has been weakened or destroyed from untreated periodontal disease. The procedures involve inserting small pieces of mesh-like material to keep the gum tissue from growing into the areas of bone loss.

Both tooth decay and gum disease are serious dental health issues that can result in tooth loss and other significant oral health issues. For the health of your mouth, body and overall wellbeing, it is important to get regular dental check-ups and exams and to have your gum disease treated as soon as possible.

If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms of gum disease or you need to schedule a routine dental examination and cleaning, contact us at Masterpiece Smiles today.


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Open Saturdays

Make an Appointment Today!


Open Saturdays

Masterpiece Smiles Dentist Office in Oklahoma City

Meet Our Team!

Expert training equals quality and gentle dental care. At Masterpiece Smiles our professional team includes Dr. Robert Baumann, Dr. Ashley Lanman, Dr. Kristie B. Haller, Dr. Bryce Baumann, Dr. Darrell Guttery and Dr. Carmen Martinez. Experience the newest dental techniques and cutting edge dental care in our modern northwest Oklahoma City facility.