Gum disease is a common affliction, and if untreated can lead to tooth loss. Types of gum disease treatment vary depending upon how serious the infection has become. In fairly early stages, a deep cleaning technique called root scaling and planing can often eliminate infection and prevent additional problems from developing.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease occurs when bacteria collects between the gums and the tooth roots, resulting in inflammation and, eventually, infection. The gums pull back from the roots, and in time the teeth become loose and can eventually fall out. If gum disease is diagnosed in early stages, it is fairly simple to treat. As it becomes more advanced, more invasive treatment is often necessary.
Planing and scaling is a treatment for gum disease that has progressed beyond simple inflammation but does not yet require gum surgery or gum grafting. Essentially, root planning and scaling is a deep-cleaning treatment. It’s often performed by an endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease. The endodontist cleans between the gums and the root, removing infection and also smoothing out the root surfaces to reduce the rough surfaces where bacteria can collect. Afterward, you’ll probably be prescribed an antibiotic. This gum disease treatment often stops the progression of the infection and prevents it from returning.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
Gum disease can be difficult to diagnose in very early stages because it displays few symptoms. However, if you see any of the following symptoms, you should talk to your dentist about them:
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Red or swollen gums
- Persistent sensitivity
Your dentist or dental hygienist will also check your gums during your regular checkups. If inflammation has set in, the gums start to draw away from the teeth. Measuring the pockets between the gums and teeth indicates the overall health of your gums. If these pockets become too deep, you will probably require treatment, which may involve planning and scaling.
To discuss this process more, or to ask any questions about your own symptoms, call us at Fielder Park Dental today!