FAQ: All About Gum Disease

Boise ID DentistAt LIFESmiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide a wide range of dental services all under one roof. Our Boise, ID dentist office is prepared to offer preventative care as well as treatment options for complex dental concerns. One of the most common dental concerns that we treat in our Boise, ID dentist office is gum disease. Learn the answers to frequently asked questions about gum disease below:

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is considered the earliest stage of gum disease development. Also known as bleeding gums, gingivitis occurs when there is an excess of food residue buildup surrounding your soft tissues. When you brush or floss your teeth, this causes your irritated soft tissues to become further inflamed, leading to a small amount of bleeding. Gingivitis can be reversed by making improvements to your at-home oral hygiene routine or by scheduling your biannual dental cleaning. However, left untreated, it could advance into gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease occurs when the food residue surrounding your soft tissues hardens into plaque and tartar. Over time, the bacteria inside of the plaque and tartar will begin to eat away at your healthy soft tissues. These leads to more advanced symptoms such as tender gums, discolored gums, increased dental sensitivity, bad breath, and loose teeth. Left untreated, gum disease may lead to tooth loss. It is important to contact you Boise, ID dentist if you suspect that you are dealing with the signs and symptoms of gum disease. The sooner you contact the dentist, the more likely it is that they will be able to offer you conservative treatment options.

How can I prevent gum disease?

To prevent gum disease, patients should practice a strict at-home oral hygiene routine including brushing and flossing twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Additionally, patients should rinse their mouths out with water or chew sugar-free gum following midday meals and snacks. This will help reduce the amount of food residue left behind on your smile. Patients should also remember to attend their biannual dental cleanings, during which our hygienists will remove any buildup from your teeth and stop gum disease progression in its tracks.

How is gum disease treated?

For patients experiencing advanced symptoms of gum disease, our Boise, ID dentist office offers periodontal therapy. Your treatment will depend largely on the severity of your case. Most patients with gum disease are treated using a procedure called scaling and root planing, which allows us to remove any bacteria below or above the gum line. Laser dentistry solutions may be used to remove any infected tissue. Patients with severe cases of gum disease may require oral surgery to completely restore their smiles. To find out which treatment option will best meet your needs, schedule an appointment with our Boise, ID dentist office. We look forward to helping you restore your smile.