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Oral Care is key in preventing gum disease.

Prevent Gum Disease with Periodontal(Gum) Therapy

Periodontal or gum disease can be very sneaky because many people don’t realize that they have it. Caused by bacteria in the mouth, gum disease can pose a serious health risk. Some people have more bacteria (or different type of it), so the risk and severity of gum disease depends on the person. The gums are thin and fragile tissue, so you should have your gums examined regularly by a dental professional to check for signs of gum disease.

There are several signs that you may have gum disease, including:

  • Gum recession or gaps between the teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Red or sore gums (normal gum color is “coral pink”)
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth

People who smoke, have diabetes or have a family history of tooth loss are at a higher risk for gum disease.

How to prevent gum disease

The most important way to avoid gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth daily, as well as:

  • Try using an electric toothbrush. The back-and-forth motion can help remove more plaque than a manual brush.
  • Rinse your mouth daily with an antiseptic mouthwash or fluoride rinse.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of whole grains, vegetables and fruit.
  • Avoid bedtime snacks.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.
  • If you smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco, you should quit.

Non-surgical treatment of gum disease

The first step to stopping gum disease is to have regular professional dental cleanings. Your dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar that builds up on your teeth and check closely for signs of gum disease.

If you do show signs of gum disease, you can have an advanced cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. Using a local anesthetic, we will numb the area so that can scrape away the plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line. We will smooth the rough surface of the teeth and clean away any debris, leaving a clean place for the gums to attach to the teeth.

Surgical treatments

Sometimes, when the tissue around the gums is diseased and unhealthy, it’s necessary to treat gum disease with surgery. There are several different types of surgical treatments, including:

  • Flap surgery – Surgeon lifts the gums away and cleans teeth and bone, then gum tissue is replaced in a way that minimizes pocket depth around teeth and gums.
  • Bone grafts – Fragments of bone are used to replace bone damaged or destroyed by gum disease.
  • Soft tissue grafts – Grafted tissue is used to replace or reinforce places where tissue has decayed.
  • Guided tissue regeneration – Combined with flap surgery, this procedure helps regenerate bone and gum tissue growth.
  • Bone surgery – Reshapes bone (after flap surgery) to minimize craters where bacteria can collect and grow.

If you are concerned about gum disease, the sooner you act, the better your chances of successful intervention. Come see us today for a complete evaluation and treatment plan.


A vital reason for regular dental check-ups is to catch any signs of oral cancer early. Legacy Hill Dentistry can ensure that you are receiving the best general dentistry care available in Smyrna, TN.