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.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, can occur from poor oral hygiene, crowding in your teeth, and other conditions. When plaque and bacteria build up on teeth, it can begin to cause irritation in your gums. As this irritation worsens, it can cause many symptoms in your gums including swelling, bleeding, puffiness, and redness.
The good news is that gingivitis is treatable and preventable! The best treatment for this oral condition is simply a good brushing and flossing routine at home. Thorough dental cleanings, also called prophylaxis, are also necessary to get rid of the plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
If gingivitis is left untreated or undetected, it can advance to periodontal disease, or periodontitis. This stage of gum disease is very serious; it’s a major cause of tooth loss for adults.
Periodontal disease is caused by ongoing gum inflammation that develops into pockets between the gums and teeth that fill with bacteria, plaque, and tartar. These pockets can develop infections that can eventually lead to loss of teeth and strain on the rest of your body.
Our periodontists use root planing and scaling to aggressively treat periodontal disease. Also called deep cleaning, this procedure uses anesthetic to numb treatment areas while all toxins, tartar, and plaque are removed from the gum pockets. During this procedure, uneven spots on teeth surfaces are smoothed out, which eliminates areas for bacteria to hide. Depending on the severity of the condition, periodontal surgery may also be required.
Patients with periodontal disease need regular treatment. Periodontal disease can be managed with professional treatment by keeping the gum pockets as clean as possible so that bacteria does not get the chance to reseed. Without periodontal maintenance, toxins, tartar, and plaque can accumulate once again. For some patients, regular dental cleanings are not aggressive enough, so appointments every 3 months for periodontal maintenance are required.
Regular Cleanings Help Prevent Gum Disease
With regular dental checkups and cleanings, gum disease can be caught and treated in its early stages. That’s why we recommend cleanings at least every 6 months for children and adults without pre-existing dental conditions.
Behind on dental cleanings? Call today and we’ll fit you in soon. Don’t give gum disease a chance to develop.
Gum Disease & 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 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 surface is 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 planing, 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 of Oak Hill in Austin, TX 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 to make an appointment.
Gum disease is a major factor in your overall health, and it’s something many patients forget about. Many adults may experience some form of gum disease in their lifetime. It can progress through several stages of severity. For patients that have not seen a dentist in a long time, gum disease can become a serious condition that needs immediate treatment.