Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can lead to serious dental problems, such as tooth loss. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene, which leads to plaque and tartar buildup, which then causes gingivitis. Other factors that contribute to your risk of developing gum disease include infrequent visits to your dentist, the use certain medications, the use of nicotine, and your age and race. While mild gum disease can often be corrected with a regular dental cleaning, dentists must treat severe gum disease by removing infected gum tissue. If you’re worried that you may be suffering from gum disease near Belmont, visit a dentist near you for diagnosis and treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
If your gum disease is advanced, your dentist or periodontist can remove the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth via deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing. When scaling, your dentist scrapes off the plaque and tartar buildup from above and below your gum line. During root planing, your dentist removes harmful bacteria from the roots of your teeth. These bacteria contribute to gum disease. Your dentist will typically only work on one quadrant of your mouth at a time, and he or she may recommend sedation dentistry to make the experience more pleasant for you.
If your gum disease is in its very early stages and has not progressed very far, medications, combined with scaling and root planing, may eliminate your need for surgery. Medications commonly prescribed include mouth rinses, antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics, and enzyme suppressants. If your gum disease is extreme or threatens tooth loss, or if scaling and root planing combined with medication fails to eliminate the infection, your dentist or periodontist may recommend surgery.
There are two different types of surgical procedures used to treat gum disease. With flap surgery, your dentist will lift your gums to remove tartar deposits. The gums are then secured back into place; when healed, they fit more snugly around your teeth. If you have suffered bone loss or receding gums as a result of gum disease, your dentist may perform bone and tissue grafts in addition to flap surgery. This will help you regenerate bone and tissue.