Healthy teeth rely on healthy gums! Our periodontal (gum) treatment helps keep your smile safe from harmful bacteria and disease.
Gum disease is a common problem with an easy treatment, if it’s caught early. Most people will have gum disease at one time or another in their lives, even those who take good care of their teeth. Too many people let gum disease get out of hand because they fear going to the dentist for treatment. The truth is that gum disease can be painlessly reversed with a dental cleaning if it’s caught in its early stages. The best way to avoid more complex treatments is to have regular dental checkups.
Gum disease starts with gingivitis. When bacteria grow, they cause a sticky film called plaque to form over your gums. If not removed with regular oral hygiene routines, plaque can cause your gums to become sensitive and inflamed. Plaque that stays behind will eventually mineralize and harden. Hardened plaque is called tartar, and normal brushing and flossing can’t remove it. If you have tartar, it has to be scraped off by a dentist with special dental instruments.
“My gums are so red and swollen. I know I need to go to the dentist, but I’m afraid he’s going to recommend surgery.”
Don’t let anxiety over being in the dentist’s chair keep you from getting the care you need. Treatment for gum disease is simple, and the earlier you catch it, the simpler it is.
If you are suffering from gingivitis, the precursor to periodontal disease, you may just need an extra cleaning between your regular checkups. Then you can take care of the rest at home with proper oral hygiene.
Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss if it gets out of control. However, it’s still just a matter of giving the teeth a deep and thorough cleaning to get you back on the right track. If tartar has gotten below the gumline, a process called scaling and root planing (a more extensive cleaning that gets below the gumline) is used to clear out the infection and keep it from recurring. It’s that simple!
You can get gum disease before tartar is present, and sometimes people get gum disease that is not due to poor oral hygiene. It can be inherited or a side effect of illness or medications. This is why it is important to schedule regular dental checkups at least once a year. The dentist can find signs of gingivitis before you might notice symptoms yourself. Mild gingivitis can be treated and reversed with a dental cleaning at the office.
When gum disease spreads and affects the area below the gum line, it is called periodontitis. At this stage the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontitis can be treated with a deep cleaning procedure, also called scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of the tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gum line. Root planing is a procedure that smooths the root surfaces to prevent reinfection.
Gum disease is hard to avoid entirely throughout your life, especially if it runs in your family or you have medical conditions or take medications that increase your risk of getting it. You can avoid periodontitis by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and seeing the dentist at least once a year for checkups.