Gum Disease & Treatment
What is Gum Disease?
The gums and bone around teeth are essential to having and maintaining a beautiful smile. However, when the tissues that support the teeth are not healthy, there can be a variety of negative consequences – bone and tooth loss, gingival recession, loosening of teeth, and even bad breath. To prevent these from happening, we want to help you fight gum disease for you to have a healthy smile and a healthy body.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two types of gum disease. These are both caused by bacteria that live within the plaque that accumulates on teeth. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums only and is reversible, but periodontitis involves bone loss and is not reversible. Routine dental cleanings and thorough home care are essential for preventing and treating gum disease.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that results in gums that bleed upon brushing, flossing, or eating. This is the first stage of gum disease. The good news is that it is completely reversible if detected and treated early! The most important treatment for gingivitis is improved oral hygiene. This is best achieved by a combination of professional dental cleanings and improved home care techniques. See our Preventive Dentistry page for more information and discuss how to improve your home care with your hygienist and doctor at your next appointment.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria that live below the gum line produce toxins which cause our bodies to destroy the bone that supports the teeth. There is no cure for periodontal disease. However, with early detection and timely treatment, we can help to stop the progression of this disease and prevent further bone and tooth loss.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease - Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical periodontal treatment that we routinely perform during the early stages of periodontal disease. This treatment will help to minimize periodontal pocket depths between the tooth and the gums, which are areas where bacteria live and destroy healthy gum and bone tissue. If you are diagnosed with moderate to advanced periodontal disease, we may refer you to a Periodontist for more extensive treatment and follow-up.
During a scaling and root planing appointment, a dental hygienist or dentist uses instruments below the gum line to clean the roots of your teeth and smooth any rough surfaces. The goal of this deep cleaning is to clear away plaque and tartar as well as smooth the surfaces of the teeth to encourage the gum tissues to reattach to the teeth.
Early stage periodontal disease should never be ignored! If you notice that your gums are tender or bleed when eating, flossing, or brushing, we can address it and prevent further damage with a scaling and root planing procedure. Contact us today if you are concerned about your gum health and would like more information on what treatment is best for you.
Have a question or want to make an appointment?
Are you interested in learning more about your teeth? Do you have dental health goals you would like to meet? We would be honored to explore that with you and help you find solutions.