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Gum Treatment

The first signs of periodontal disease usually begin with gingivitis. The gums appear reddened, slightly swollen and bleed when gently provoked by brushing or flossing. It is often thought that brushing too hard causes bleeding gums. However, bleeding from the gum tissues is not normal and should be taken as a warning sign. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed. In an effort to get rid of the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that inflame and damage the gums.

Causes of Gum Disease 

  • Improper Dental Hygiene: If plaque is not removed through daily dental hygiene practices and regular professional dental cleanings, bacteria may set in and cause gingivitis, which may eventually result in gum disease.
  • Organic Changes in the Mouth: Changes that occur in metabolism and hormone levels during pregnancy, puberty and menopause may affect the organic balance in the mouth, and make teeth more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Medical Conditions: Serious conditions that affect the body’s ability to produce sugar (such as diabetes or kidney disease) may contribute to periodontal disease. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control has found an association between certain illnesses (including diabetes, stroke and heart attack) and gum disease. Finally, medications used to treat medical conditions may produce the overgrowth of gums. Overgrown gums are more susceptible to bacteria, and therefore gum disease.
  • Saliva Flow Inhibitors: Certain medications that produce oral side effects or dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia) may contribute to a reduction of protective saliva flow, and potentially to gum disease. Seniors may be more susceptible to dry mouth syndrome because of the natural reduction of salivary flow associated with age.
  • Poor Functional Habits: Teeth grinding or clenching may impair the surrounding tissue and is a possible contributor to gum disease.

Gum Disease Treatment Costs 

The cost may be as little as $500, or as much as $10,000, depending on the severity of the disease. The cost for a regular dental prophylaxis averages between $30 and $75, while the average cost for periodontal scaling and root planing is between $140 and $210. Periodontal maintenance costs after undergoing active therapy average $115. Active periodontal therapy, which usually consists of a locally administered antimicrobial agent delivered into the gum pockets, costs an average of $75 per tooth.

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