Your gums are essential to the health of your teeth. Keeping your gum tissue healthy supports strong teeth and can help prevent tooth loss later in life. At DC Dental Spa, we’re your partner in periodontal care to prevent or treat gum disease.
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 even certain medications.
Don’t Ignore Potential Signs of Gum Disease
If gingivitis isn’t treated, it will progress to the more serious stage of gum disease 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. This may consist of a deeper cleaning by your DC Dental Spa dentist called a root planing and scaling. Gingivitis may cause swelling of the gums or bleeding gums that you may notice, but a dentist can usually see signs of gingivitis during a checkup even if you have not noticed any symptoms yet yourself.
During your cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed carefully and thoroughly. 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 to reverse the condition.
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 allowed to advance. 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’d like to schedule a checkup or have questions about our treatments for gum disease, call us today at (202) 873-1054.