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Westgate Dental

Gum Disease Treatment

Gum Disease Treatment services offered in West Des Moines, IA

Gum disease is a serious dental health issue that also affects overall health and wellness. For residents of West Des Moines, Iowa, who have concerns about gum health, Colin Odland, DDS, Ryan Langel, DDS, Jeremy Flinkman, DDS, and the rest of the team at Westgate Dental are here to help. Booking your visit is fast and convenient with online and phone options.

What is gum disease?

Your gum tissue helps stabilize your teeth and also creates a barrier between the environment within your mouth and your bloodstream. 

When gums become infected, it might stop effectively blocking bacteria transfer between your mouth and bloodstream. The human mouth is filled with bacteria, some helpful and some potentially harmful. 

When you allow that bacteria to enter your bloodstream, you increase your risk of serious health issues, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stroke

Keeping your gum tissue healthy is just as important as brushing and flossing your teeth.  

What are some signs I might need gum disease treatment?

The start of gum disease is a condition called gingivitis. Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Bleeding during brushing and flossing
  • Red gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Tender gums

Gingivitis is reversible if you take action to improve your daily dental hygiene routines. Left untreated, however, the condition often develops into periodontitis. 

Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Pus between teeth and gum tissue
  • Painful gums
  • Significant bleeding when brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • New spaces between teeth
  • Pain when biting down or chewing
  • Receding gum tissue

When gum disease advances to the point that inflammation begins to pull your gum tissue away from your teeth, small pockets develop and provide an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. 

What happens during gum disease treatment?

For gingivitis, you may just need a professional cleaning and guidance on how to improve  at-home dental hygiene. Your dental team monitors your gums during routine dental exams. 

If you have periodontitis, a special cleaning called scaling and root planing is often the first step. 

Your practitioner uses a special tool called a scaler to scrape away plaque and tartar, including beneath the gum line. Planing involves smoothing the root portions of your tooth to make it harder for plaque and bacteria to take hold. 

Perio Protect® treatments use a Perio Tray® that fits over your teeth, much like a mouth guard. The pre-filled tray holds medication to fight off infection. This system delivers medication deep within gum tissue, where mouthwash, brushing, or flossing can’t reach. 

Surgery is an option for the most advanced cases. Westlake Dental offers both traditional surgery as well as laser surgery. Your dentist discusses the options in detail during your consultation.

To learn more, call or click to schedule a time to come in and discuss your gum health.