Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, can lead to tooth loss and potentially more severe health issues if left untreated. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing or periodontal therapy, are the primary treatment for patients diagnosed with gum disease. In this procedure, the dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the tooth surfaces and roots. The tooth roots are smoothed to discourage future bacterial attachment and make it easier for the gums to reattach.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, known as gingivitis in its early stages, is primarily caused by excessive harmful bacteria found in plaque that attacks the mouth's soft tissues. Early warning signs include red, swollen, or bleeding gums. When caught early, damage can be reversed, but if detected late, various restorative dentistry procedures may be necessary. Regular dental examinations, cleanings, and specialized interventions are essential for keeping teeth and gums healthy and disease-free.

Benefits of Deep Cleanings

While deep cleanings cannot cure gum disease, they can slow or stop its progression. Deep cleanings are effective in reducing the need for surgical intervention and helping inflamed, bleeding gums return to a healthy, pink state. For individuals with gum disease, deep cleanings, along with periodontal maintenance checkups, may become a routine part of dental visits.

Overview of Periodontal Treatments

Managing periodontal disease involves several treatments in addition to deep cleanings. Periodontal therapy may include gum tissue enhancement procedures to replace diseased tissue with healthy tissue. Gum grafting might be necessary if gum disease has caused severe gum recession to cover exposed tooth roots. Additionally, topical antibacterial or antibiotic solutions may be applied to combat bacterial infections directly.

For patients with advanced or complicated periodontal disease, a periodontist may be recommended. A periodontist is a specialist who primarily focuses on treating gum disease and other oral soft tissue conditions. Periodontists complete specialized training in periodontics after earning a general dental degree. Their expertise in gum disease, risk factors, and related symptoms and conditions can help manage and treat advanced gum disease effectively.