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Arestin in Silver Spring, MD

Gum disease isn’t just painful for the gums — there can be serious health problems that arise from this issue if it is left untreated. This is why it is extremely important that you not only get care for your gum disease, but that you get the best care possible. That’s why, if you have gum disease, you should see Dr. Allen Gotora and the team at Stellar Dental right away!

What are the signs or symptoms of gum disease?

It is important that you come to see the team at Stellar Dental twice a year for cleanings and exams. They will not only give you a thorough cleaning of your teeth, but they can check for any signs of gum disease.

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms of gum disease, you should make an appointment with Stellar Dental as soon as possible:

  • Puffy, bright red (or even purple) and sensitive gums;
  • Pus coming from between the teeth and gums;
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down;
  • Bad breath;
  • A bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away; and/or,
  • Gums that bleed easily.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease.

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. This occurs when plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth. Plaque is that sticky film that develops on your teeth after you eat.

Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but if some plaque is left on the teeth it hardens and becomes tartar, which is instrumental in the second stage of gum disease, periodontitis. Tartar needs to be removed with special tools by a dental hygienist. This is taken care of during a dental cleaning, which is why getting teeth cleaned by a professional twice a year is so important.

If tartar is not removed from teeth, bacteria start to grow there. The body tries to fight this infection by making more blood vessels in your gums, which is why gums look bright red, bleed easily and feel sensitive. As more and more bacteria accumulate, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. Even more bacteria accumulate in these pockets, and they begin to release toxins. These toxins break down the bone and the tissue that supports teeth.

What if gum disease isn’t treated?

If gum disease is left untreated, it can eventually lead to the loss of teeth.

Recent research has also showed that the bacteria that builds up in the gums can lead to more serious health problems, such as issues with pregnancy, osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart problems.

What is the treatment for gum disease?

If your gum disease is beyond the gingivitis stage, Dr. Gotora may recommend a scaling and planing. These are technically two separate procedures, but they are done at the same time.

Scaling is a cleaning of the pockets that form between teeth and gums. It removes tartar from the surface of the teeth and cleans below the gumline. Planing is a thorough cleaning of the surface of the tooth root. It also smooths the surface of the tooth root, because a smooth root surface makes it harder for food particles and bacteria to stick to the root.

For the scaling and planing procedure, Dr. Gotora will use local anesthetic to numb your gums, then will use special instruments to remove tartar and plaque from the tooth, both the surface and the root.

In order to ensure that your gums are as healthy as possible, Dr. Gotora will also use Arestin after he is done with the scaling and planing.

What is Arestin?

Arestin is an antibiotic that is used to kill bacteria in the infected pockets. It is made up of tiny particles filled with an antibiotic called minocycline hydrochloride. It is placed into the space between the gums and the teeth, where it will dissolve on its own over time. Arestin is especially effective because it is placed right where the bacteria is.

If you are prone to gum problems or tartar build up, Dr. Gotora may recommend you come in for cleanings more often, perhaps every three to four months. He may also recommend that you get Arestin during routine periodontal maintenance.

What happens after a scaling and planing?

After these procedures, your gums may bleed a bit and they may be sensitive. You can use over-the-counter medication for the pain if needed. You should stick to soft foods for a few days after the procedure, and avoid smoking, because this can make the gums take longer to heal. Your gums may be extra sensitive to hot and cold, but this should only be temporary.

Although your gums will be sore and tender, try to get back to your oral health care regimen as soon as possible.

If you have gum disease, you can count on Dr. Gotora and Stellar Dental to help get your gums healthy again — with scaling, planing and Arestin!

There are two Stellar Dental locations to choose from — one in Silver Spring and one in Hyattsville. Call (301) 754-1900 to make an appointment today!