Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, comes in many forms, from mild to severe. The mildest type is gingivitis, a condition that causes redness, swelling and bleeding of your gums. Even though these symptoms are very noticeable, you don't feel much discomfort.
If you neglect gingivitis, your gum/periodontal disease may worsen into periodontitis. This more serious condition happens when untreated plaque spreads and moves below your gum line. Bacteria cause inflammation that attacks the tooth-supporting tissue and bone. You get pockets in your gums, while the tissue and bone gets destroyed progressively.
Even though periodontitis is a serious problem, you may not feel any pain. If you let gum/periodontal disease continue unchecked, your teeth loosen, and you may eventually lose them.
The primary ways to treat periodontal disease are scaling and root planing. These procedures stop and reverse the disease process, saving threatened teeth. Scaling and root planing involve removing tartar and getting the plaque off your root surfaces. The dentist gets it out of the deep root pockets that developed as your gum disease worsened. Your roots are smoothed during the planing process.
Good Candidates for Scaling and Root Planing
You're a good candidate for scaling and root planing if the tissue around your teeth is still healthy enough to be salvaged. If your tissue isn't repairable with this procedure, you may need surgery. Your dentist at Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry can tell you if scaling and root planing will work for you.
Gum Disease Frequently Asked Questions
What causes gum/periodontal disease?
Bacteria are naturally present in your mouth. They blend with other particles into a sticky film called plaque. If you don't remove bacteria promptly, the plaque becomes tartar and spreads below the gum line. Gum disease develops most commonly in adulthood, according to the National Institutes of Health, and is more common in men than women.
How can I prevent gum/periodontal disease?
Frequently brushing your teeth helps remove plaque before it spreads or hardens into tartar. Getting regular check-ups and cleanings at our Austin office removes any excess plaque and tartar that manages to build up.
What should I do after scaling and root planing?
Even though scaling and root planing cleans harmful plaque and tartar, more can develop if you neglect your oral hygiene. Brush often and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
Contact us today so the dentists at Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry can help you create and follow a program to prevent further disease.