How is Gum Disease Treated?
Prophylaxis Cleaning – The good thing about catching gum disease early is that gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) is reversible with good oral hygiene and a traditional cleaning. At this point, no irreversible damage has occurred to your gums and jawbone. By scaling above the gum line, we remove plaque and tartar to improve gum inflammation. If you keep up with oral hygiene at home, the infection should clear up.
Deep Cleanings – A deep cleaning is a treatment for more advanced gum disease, such as gingivitis that is caught later or in the early stages of periodontitis, which starts to destroy soft tissues and jawbone if left untreated.
A deep cleaning is a more thorough and invasive cleaning because it involves scaling above and below the gum line to clean deep gums pockets that have collected plaque and tartar. In a deep cleaning, root planing is also performed. This smooths out the tooth’s root for easier reattachment of receded gums.
Gum Surgery – When patients have advanced periodontitis, their gum pockets are often too deep to thoroughly clean without surgical intervention. They may require gum flap surgery, where the gums are surgically lifted to reveal the underlying tartar that has collected beneath the gum line. It can then be thoroughly cleaned and stitched back up.
Gum and bone grafts can be used to replace receded gums and bone loss caused by gum disease. Guided tissue regeneration involves placing mesh between the patient’s gum tissue and bone to regenerate the jawbone.
What to Expect During Your Deep Clean Appointment
Dr. Ashy will first need to examine and take x-rays of your gums and teeth during a consultation to rule out other oral health problems. We can diagnose gum disease by measuring your gum pockets with a probe. This will help us determine if you have healthy gums, gingivitis, or periodontitis.
Are measuring your gum pockets and diagnosing what stage of gum disease you have, we will schedule you for a deep cleaning. You can choose to have this treatment split into two hour-long appointments or one long appointment.
Dr. Ashy will administer a local anesthetic to numb your mouth so you feel more comfortable and don’t feel any pain. Then, a scaler or ultrasonic clear will be used to scrape away plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line.
Then, a scaler is used to remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from the roots of your teeth. This will smooth out the tooth root so that it is easier for us to reattach your gums. This will also shrink the size of the gum pocket.
Once your deep cleaning is complete, we may schedule you for a follow-up appointment in a few weeks to make sure that the infection has cleared up. If it hasn’t you may require further treatment. Patients with advanced periodontitis are recommended to return for regular deep cleanings as part of maintaining their periodontal health.
What Causes Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque that hardens into tartar and is no longer removable through regular oral hygiene. It only takes 72 hours for plaque to harden into tartar and this can only be removed with professional dental tools.
This causes inflammation of the gums as the body’s immune response tries to fight off the infection. However, this causes the deepening of gum pockets, bleeding and receding gums, bad breath, and loose teeth. As gum pockets deepen, they trap more bacteria.
Plaque is caused by poor oral hygiene. To prevent plaque buildup and gum disease, you should brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Go to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup every 6 months. Contact us at Elite Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Ashy.