Treatment of Gum Disease

Gum inflammation of any degree indicates bacterial infection has begun that can damage your periodontal gum and bone tissues, as well as increase the risk of dental caries. Extensive medical research has linked chronic inflammation of gum tissue to a multitude of systemic disease conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, head and neck cancers, problems of fertility and pregnancy, and many more.

The symptoms of gum disease include tender, puffy gums, some bleeding when brushing and flossing and the development of gum pockets. Your first indication could be some bleeding and painful areas when the dental hygienist cleans your teeth. Prompt treatment for gum inflammation and advanced gum disease, not only minimizes the impact of gum disease on your health, it minimizes the treatment you will need.

If Dr. Lopez thinks periodontal scaling and root planing are indicated to fight gum disease in your mouth, this can be comfortably done in our office while your gums are numbed. Our registered dental hygienists will use special instrumentation to clean the space between the gum tissue and the teeth down to the roots. After this treatment, a local time-released antibiotic can be applied in the gum pockets to help restore health. Fortunately, the patients of Jay R. Lopez, D.D.S., can have oral DNA saliva testing in our office that will make systemic antibiotic treatment (by mouth antibiotics) pathogen-specific and optimally effective.

Dr. Jay R. Lopez, D.D.S. partners with OralDNA Labs to offer Oral DNA Saliva Testing. A sample of your saliva is sent to the lab to determine which harmful bacteria are present and the amount of the harmful bacteria.

Certain bacteria cause gum inflammation (gingivitis), and different bacteria cause gum and bone disease (periodontitis). Treatment is most effective when targeted at the specific pathogens in your mouth. Based on the results of the saliva tests, Dr. Lopez can prescribe bacteria-specific antibiotics and a schedule of recall appointments for dental cleanings and other periodontal treatment if more advanced treatment is indicated.

Because there are genetic predispositions that can make you more susceptible to periodontitis, many patients elect to test for these biomarkers. This can also be done with a saliva lab test run at OralDNA Labs.

“Patients need to know that chronic gum disease puts patients at high risk for some types of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Lopez. “For example, medical research studies have determined there is a correlation between specific pathogens in the mouth and the buildup of fatty deposits in arteries. By effectively treating and managing these pathogens, dentists help patients reduce the development of arterial plaque that can lead to strokes and other cardiovascular problems, including cardiac arrest.” Read my article Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Disease.

Please Note: Because Dr. Jay Lopez is skilled in laser dentistry and oral surgery, he can comfortably perform laser treatment and gum grafting to restore gum tissue that has been affected by infection and recession. You may want to read more about this:

Related Preventive Dentistry Articles: