Have you missed a few dental check-ups? If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist and you notice loose teeth, chronic bad breath, swelling, or receding gums, you may have the early stages of gum disease. When caught in the early stages during a routine dental cleaning, gum disease, or gingivitis, can generally be reversed through proper oral hygiene. If left untreated, serious issues, including tooth loss, can occur.

Gum Disease and Periodontal Treatments

Commonly called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease is easy to treat through regular dental cleanings. This is one of the reasons we always recommend a dental cleaning and check-up every 6 months, and more often if you are restoring your dental health. To treat gingivitis in the early stages, our periodontist will thoroughly clean your mouth. For people who catch their gum disease early enough, their periodontal treatment usually consists of prophylaxis (cleaning), routine six-month cleanings, and a thorough at-home oral care routine.

Unfortunately, if patients don’t see a dentist for many years, they could have advanced periodontal disease, or periodontitis. At this point, it is a more serious condition. Our periodontist will aggressively treat the disease using teeth scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning treatment uses an anesthetic to numb the treatment areas. Then the dentist will remove all the toxins, tartar, and plaque stored in the pockets that have formed between the gums and teeth. During a tooth scaling, each tooth’s teeth surfaces are smoothed out, removing uneven spots where bacteria can accumulate. For patients whose gum disease remains an issue even after this treatment, we might recommend periodontal surgery.

Once you’ve been treated for gum disease with scaling and root planning, your gum pockets are left larger and it is easy to experience plaque and bacteria buildup in these areas once again. That’s why it’s important to come back to Renken Dentistry in Leander for regular periodontal maintenance, usually every 3 months. Routine cleanings won’t reach these deep gum pockets.

To prevent gum disease or reverse it in its early stages, regular dental cleanings every six months is crucial. If you need a periodontist to treat your gum disease or provide ongoing maintenance, please call one of our offices to make an appointment.