I have known that I have had gingivitis for a while now. My gums are sore, and they bleed easily. I’ve had more dental cleanings than usual since then. I recently moved from Indiana, and so much has been going on that I missed a few cleanings. Last week, I had a fever along with a throbbing toothache. I found a new dentist who said that part of the bone is gone near the tooth that has been throbbing. I am afraid that I will need a dental implant.
The hygienist did another dental cleaning. The dentist applied some medication around the throbbing tooth. I also received antibiotics. I have a follow-up visit next Tuesday. I am quite worried about bone loss. He thinks that he can get the situation under control with scaling, and if not, he will refer me to a periodontist. I just need to hear another opinion about how serious my case sounds. Is the bone loss irreparable? Thanks for your input. – Jane T. from Austin
Jane – If gingivitis is left untreated, periodontal disease or advanced gum disease results. Red, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily are signs of gingivitis.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Inadequate brushing and flossing can leave bacteria between the teeth and gums, leading to gingivitis. Scaling and root planing clean the root surfaces, remove plaque and tartar and smooth the root to remove bacteria. Many patients do not require treatment beyond this.
If root planing and scaling do not restore the health of your gums and teeth, as your dentist indicated, a periodontist can take further action to restore and preserve your oral health. Gum disease treatment is essential to avoid losing the tooth and needing a dental implant to replace it.
What If You Have Lost Bone from Gum Disease?
If you have lost bone from gum disease, a periodontist can restore it with a gum graft. The specialist will explain your options for grafting. It can take three to six months for a graft to heal.
If you still have questions about the seriousness of your case, do not hesitate to ask your dentist questions or list your questions to ask a periodontist during a consultation.
Dr. Gilberto Tostado, a San Antonio, Texas prosthodontist, sponsors this post.