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What to expect if you have gum disease
Updated: 6/24/2011 6:59:53 PM

Individuals with gum disease may have several different treatment options Many people have heard their dentist call out a number while they are examining a patient's mouth, but few individuals actually know what this signifies.

According to a recent article published by Tampa Bay Newspapers, if the number your dentist calls out is three or less, your gums are healthy. If it is higher than three, it is likely that you have gum disease. These numbers stand for the depth of pockets in the gums, and higher denominations indicate that the gums have receded too far from the teeth due to infection.

Dentists will typically recommend one of several different treatments for gum disease. One of these is a simple scaling and root planning procedure during which the dentist or dental hygienist will remove any built-up tartar or bacterial colonies from the gums and place an antibiotic in the pockets to fight off any remaining bacteria, the news provider explained.

Another option is gum surgery, which is used in more severe cases of the disease. Also, new laser treatments called LANAP are offered by some providers, the news source reported.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 9 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have periodontal disease.

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