If you have gum disease, you may be able to reverse it by improving your oral-hygiene habits and having your teeth deep-cleaned by your dentist. You want to take action on treating the condition as soon as you find out you have it. Otherwise, the infection can spread under your gums and damage the roots of your teeth or even your jawbone. Here are a few things to know about treating your gum disease.
Treating the Cause of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque that build up on your teeth. A common reason for this is poor oral hygiene. If you don't brush your teeth regularly, sticky plaque builds up and attracts bacteria. Eventually, the plaque hardens and causes irritation to your gums. The first signs of gum disease are gum tenderness and bleeding due to the irritation and infection. As the disease progresses, the gums pull away from your teeth and the bacteria get under the gums and can go as deep as the bone in your jaw. Therefore, an important part of treating gum disease is getting rid of all that bacteria. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics you take orally or use as a mouth rinse. Bacteria can also be removed through planing and scaling.
How Planing and Scaling Help
Scaling is a form of deep-cleaning your teeth. The dentist uses an ultrasonic device or hand instrument to manually scrape off plaque and tartar. This is done above and below the gum line. You'll probably receive a local anesthetic so you'll be comfortable during the procedure. Once the teeth and gum pockets have been cleared of tartar and infection, the next step in the treatment begins. Planing is done with a dental tool that removes rough edges on the roots of your teeth. When your teeth are smooth, there are fewer places for bacteria to grab onto and hide in. Once all this buildup is removed and the roots of your teeth are smooth again, your gums should tighten against your teeth as they heal.
Scaling and planing is an effective treatment for gum disease as long as your condition isn't so advanced that there is a lot of damage to your gums, teeth, or bone. If that's the case, surgery may be necessary to clean out the infection and restore your gums. Advanced cases may even need a bone or tissue graft. For that reason, you want to follow your dentist's advice for treating your gum disease as soon as it is detected. If you're lax about seeing a dentist for regular checkups, you should make an appointment with a dentistry such as Periodontal Specialists when you notice gum soreness or bleeding when you brush.