Simply put, gum (or periodontal) disease involves the infection and inflammation of gum tissue. Although gingivitis is commonly considered an adult problem, children can develop this dental condition as well. Fortunately, the condition is manageable and reversible when detected early. Gingivitis treatment involves professional cleanings, examinations and meticulous oral hygiene. Other forms of treatment may include the use of prescription antibiotics and antimicrobial mouth rinses.
Treatment Options for Gingivitis
The best method for combating gingivitis is prevention. Preventive dental services, such as professional cleanings and oral examinations every six months, can greatly reduce your family members' odds of developing chronic gum disease. When you or your dentist detects signs of gum disease, you will need to improve your current oral-hygiene regimen. This includes thorough flossing once a day and brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
Flossing improves gum health by stimulating tissue and disrupting the formation of bacterial colonies, which contribute to plaque and tartar build-up. When brushing your teeth, make sure that you and your children are gently brushing the gums and gum line as well.
If gum disease is detected, your dentist might want to schedule additional cleanings and follow-up appointments to see how you or your child is responding to improved oral hygiene and treatment. In some cases, gingivitis treatment may include deeper professional cleanings that remove tartar accumulation below the gum line. These deeper cleanings access the interior structures of the gums and involve gently scaling infected tissue while removing tartar build-up on the roots of teeth.
Certain types of antibiotic medication can help manage the effects of gum disease and control the infection as well as periodontal surgery, when recommended by a periodontist. Using prescription-strength and over-the-counter mouth rinses is another method of treating infection and controlling bacterial growth in the mouth, especially after a patient receives deep periodontal cleanings. By taking a proactive approach to your family's oral health, you can manage the negative effects of gum disease by simply incorporating healthy home-care practices and visiting your dentist whenever necessary.