Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is hard to avoid completely, even if you take good care of your teeth. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is more likely to strike if you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly twice a day, but it can also be caused by factors out of your control like genetics, illness or medications. If gingivitis isn’t treated, it will progress to the more serious stage called periodontitis. Untreated periodontitis may require surgical treatment to save your teeth. Gum disease treatment without surgery is possible if the condition is caught early. There are two primary types of non-surgical gum disease treatment.
Gingivitis that has not advanced to periodontitis can be reversed with a simple professional dental cleaning. Gingivitis may cause swelling of the gums or bleeding gums that you will notice, but a dentist can usually see signs of gingivitis during a checkup even if you have not noticed any symptoms yet yourself. The sticky film that builds up on teeth, called plaque, is cleaned away during a cleaning. Plaque that has been left on the teeth can harden to a calcified material called tartar. During a cleaning, any tartar on your teeth is scraped away with a special dental instrument. A professional cleaning treats each individual tooth for a more thorough cleaning than you can get at home with brushing and flossing. Cleanings are recommended as part of a regular dental checkup, but if you have signs of gum disease, extra cleanings may be recommended.
When plaque or tartar is present below the gumline, the condition is called periodontitis. For this, a deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planing, is needed. Special instruments are used to clean away plaque and scrape away tartar under your gums. Planing smooths the surface of the teeth near the root, which removes bacteria and gives the tooth a smooth surface for the gums to reattach to. Scaling and root planing is not a surgical procedure, but it is usually done under local anesthetic for the patient’s comfort.
Gum disease can become a serious, expensive and painful problem if it is allowed to advance. When surgery is necessary for periodontists, the only alternative is to lose teeth. Most adults will get gingivitis at one time or another, which is why it is important to have dental checkups twice a year. If you are need of a checkup, or if you have any questions or would like to set up a consultation appointment, call DC Dental Spa now.