Suffering from advance gum infection and bone loss

I am suffering from advanced gum disease and bone loss around many of my teeth. My teeth are shifting and my gums bleed when I brush my teeth. What are my treatment options?

Thanks, Tim

Dear Tim,

It sounds like you are in the progressive stages of periodontal disease most commonly known as gum disease. Periodontal disease occurs usually from poor oral hygiene habits as well as not going to the dentist for your dental cleanings every six months however can also be hereditary. Treatment options can vary depending on the severity of the disease. The first thing you will need to do is go to the dentist for an evaluation to see if your gum disease can be treated and kept under control. If it can be controlled scaling and root planing will be preformed first. This procedure entails your teeth to be thoroughly cleaned above and below the gum line with a local anesthetic to remove all the tarter and bacteria from your teeth and root surfaces which controls the progression of the disease.

After you have healed from this treatment your dentist will evaluate your teeth to see if and where bone grafting is needed to stabilize your teeth. If your bone loss is severe around some of your teeth and mobility is noticeable you may have to have them extracted to prevent the disease from spreading to the next tooth. If teeth need to be extracted and the bone levels are stabilized you may be a candidate for dental implants or dental bridges to fill in where you had teeth extracted. We advise you to visit a dentist soon for a consultation because periodontal disease not only affects our teeth it also affects are general health and relationship with heart disease and diabetes.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care

What can I do about my fear of the dentist?

First of all, if you have something mean to say, save it. I understand how ridiculous this sounds, but I am extremely petrified of the dentist to the point where I have panic attacks and crying spells weeks in advance of my appointment. In about two weeks I have to have a cavity between two of my front teeth filled. My boyfriend is coming with me but he can’t hold my hand, he can only sit in the room. I’m so terrified I can’t get past the anxiety to do much of anything.

I’ve really only had bad experiences with my dentist. I had a tooth pulled without Novocaine, I get sore from having my mouth open for a long time, the hygienists have repeatedly tried to scare me into getting my wisdom teeth removed, they belittle me and try to scare me into flossing more often (which I already do every day) by telling me that I’ll get cavities between all of my teeth. I’m only seventeen, but as soon as I can I’m going to get a new dentist.

Sorry for making this so long, but I have a few questions. Do dentists allow you to listen to music while getting procedures done? The sound of the drill makes me panic. Is it possible to get a small cavity filled without Novocaine? Would that be a really bad idea? I just hate the pain of the shot and the lingering numbness for hours afterward! Do Novocaine shots hurt more if delivered in the front of your mouth? What is the technique for filling a cavity between the front teeth? Are there any relaxation techniques I can practice? My mom thinks I’m overreacting and I highly doubt she would allow me to be medicated, i.e. nitrous oxide, Alpraxolam, etc.

Sorry again for the length of this question. I know I sound wimpy but hopefully someone else on here will understand!!

Thanks Megan,

Dear Megan,

Many people have a fear of dental treatment, so don’t feel embarrassed. Talk with your mother and the dentist about some options that can be offered to help you feel calm and relaxed while having your dental work completed. Nitrous oxide will help you feel more at ease and you can even ask your dentist to prescribe valium which will help calm your nerves. Another option would be sleep sedation however may cost several hundred dollars. Small cavities can be filled without a shot just tell your dentist you prefer not to have one. Music will help you relax and your dentist should have no problem allowing you to listen to your iPod. Filling a cavity in a front tooth is no different than having a filling done anywhere else in the mouth.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care