Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the result of improper oral hygiene habits. Regular brushing and flossing are required to remove plaque and food debris from the surfaces of the teeth, but when this does not occur, plaque starts to build up. Bacteria living in the plaque produce acids that attack the teeth, causing cavities, as well as the gums, causing inflammation. This can eventually develop into periodontal disease. We offer several options in treating gum disease to restore your oral health. These methods include dental scaling, root planing, and periodontal surgery.
This treatment is also known as a deep cleaning and it is usually the first step taken to clear away harmful bacteria from the gums. It is effective for the early stages of periodontal disease. Your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from above and below the gum line (dental scaling), then smooth out the tooth roots (planing). By smoothing out the surfaces of the tooth roots, you lower the chance of bacteria accumulating there again in the form of plaque. The goal of this procedure is to shrink the periodontal pockets and help the gum tissue to heal. It may require an anesthetic since it is more invasive than a routine cleaning, and may take more than one visit to complete.
For more advanced cases of periodontal disease, periodontal surgery may be needed. There are several types of gum surgery, each with a different purpose. Gingival flap surgery cuts into the gums to allow your dentist to clean below the pockets, a gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue, and a gingivoplasty reshapes healthy gum tissue; the procedure selected depends on your specific needs. Other types of periodontal surgery include bone surgery, such as bone grafts, and soft-tissue grafts.
It is fairly easy to avoid developing gum disease in the first place. Simple oral care habits like daily brushing and flossing are usually sufficient for removing harmful bacteria from the mouth. Regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and exams are important to oral health.