A Traditional Yet Reliable Approach to Treating Gum Disease
The understanding of how closely linked oral and overall health is becoming more apparent. However, gum disease is still a concern among dental patients throughout the country. If you are experiencing red, swollen, or irritated gums that bleed during routine brushing and flossing, chances are gum infection is present in your smile.
Even though gum disease in its earliest form is not painful, we recommend you contact our team for effective treatment. By eliminating the harmful plaque buildup that causes the infection, the possibility of tooth loss, bone recession, and soft tissue decay significantly reduces.
The first step Dr. Joseph takes in treating your gum disease is teeth scaling. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from each tooth within your smile. He utilizes specialized tools to rid the buildup from teeth both above and below the gum line.
This process is essential because it eliminates the primary source of gum disease. Because the accumulation of plaque and tarter produce acids that wear down enamel, scaling protects your teeth from further damage and decay by removing them properly.
Root planing consists of smoothing out the texture of tooth roots after the plaque is removed. This smoother surface encourages gums to reconnect to teeth, which closes the periodontal pocket. Additionally, by helping the gums attached once more, planing supports your soft tissues remain healthy and free of infection.
Reasons for scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing can be used both as a preventative measure and as a stand-alone treatment. These procedures are performed as a preventative measure for a periodontitis sufferer.
Here are some reasons why these dental procedures may be necessary:
Disease prevention – The oral bacteria which cause periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to periodontal bacteria. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria and halts periodontal disease from progressing, thus preventing the bacteria from traveling to other parts of the body.
Tooth protection – When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, there is a greater risk of periodontal disease. As pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, a chronic inflammatory response by the body begins to destroy gingival and bone tissue which may lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world.
Aesthetic effects – Scaling and root planing help remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gumline. As an added bonus, if superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of the scaling and root planing procedure.
Better breath – One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis (bad breath). Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.
Understanding Why Periodontal Deep Cleanings are Necessary
When looking to rid your smile of gum infection with deep cleanings, it is essential to know how the disease works to understand how important treatment is for your oral and overall well-being.
While there are both helpful and harmful bacteria in your mouth, gum infection develops when a lack of proper oral care leads to plaque building up on your teeth and periodontal (gum) tissues. As the buildup burrows along the gum line, it irritates the soft tissues, causing inflammation. This gum tenderness is the first stage of the condition known as gingivitis.
If plaque continues to accumulate, it calcifies into tartar, leading to further irritation and causing gums to recede from teeth. This recession forms periodontal pockets- areas in between teeth and gums that allow more bacteria and plaque to develop underneath the gum line, reaching to the tooth roots. At this point, the condition progresses into the most advanced form of periodontal disease, known as periodontitis.
Severe gum disease is a serious condition that is responsible for significant oral health issues and has been linked to causing problems related to diabetes, heart disease, and even low birth weight in newborns.
Staying proactive with diligent at-home hygiene can often be enough to prevent gum disease. However, when the condition is more advanced, additional treatment from our periodontal team is necessary for helping eliminate the issue.
Contact Our Periodontal Team Today!
We happily provide scaling and root planing to treat gum disease. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call our practice today!