If you suffer from gum disease, you don’t have to worry. Gum disease is actually quite normal, but it is something that you need to address before it becomes worse. If left untreated, gum disease can ruin teeth and cause infection, as well as lead to diabetes and heart disease.
If you have gum disease, the following are a few things you can expect during treatment.
Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth. Most gum disease issues are caused by plaque build up on your teeth. In order to treat gum disease, your dentist will thoroughly clean the plaque away from your teeth by scraping it off. This is something that is usually done during a routine dental appointment, so it’s something you’re probably already used to. Just keep in mind that the more plaque you have, the longer and more involved this procedure will be.
Your dentist will take x-rays. Because gum disease can cause other illnesses, and because plaque may not be the only issue, your dentist may take x-rays to see if your gum disease has caused other issues or has been caused by something other than plaque. Through these x-rays, your dentist will be able to know if your gum disease is minor or if it’s severe, and they’ll be able to determine next steps based on what they find. If your dentist finds that your gum disease is more severe, he or she may have you see a periodontist for surgery.
You may have surgery. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, you may need to have dental surgery. This is something that your dentist will prepare you for by discussing the procedure and your options. In most cases, dental surgery is something that can be done in one day, and you will usually be able to go home shortly after the procedure is complete. Your dentist may have you fast the night before so that all the medications needed work properly, so be sure to discuss this with your dentist prior to surgery.
You’ll also want to discuss any post-care treatment. For example, you may not be able to drive after the procedure, so you’ll need to have a ride. You’ll also want to discuss what you can safely eat and drink after surgery as well as what you can actually eat or drink. For example, if you have stitches, you will not be able to use straws, as the sucking motion can tear the stitches out. You will also be told not to smoke after having surgery. Again, talk with your dentist about the proper post-surgery care in order to ensure you have a safe and quick recovery.
Take preventative measures. Once you’ve had gum disease, you’ll never want to experience it again. Because of this, it’s important you take the necessary steps to prevent gum disease. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and be sure to visit your dentist regularly.