The health of our gums has a great impact to our overall wellness. However, it is estimated that over 50% of American adults suffer from gum (periodontal) disease, but may not be aware of it.
Gum (periodontal) disease is a serious infection of the gums caused by bacteria that have been permitted to build up on the teeth and gums. It starts as simple inflammation (gingivitis) and can get worse over time (advanced periodontal disease) which can cause major damage to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and can contribute to developing cardiovascular disease and respiratory infections as well.
Some common causes of gum disease are the following:
- Poor dental care and hygiene
- Crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth
- Poor nutrition/diet
- Certain diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- Some types of medication such as steroids
Gum (periodontal) disease is a devious and progressive disease— which means it can slowly and painlessly damage the gums and bones (supporting structures) around your teeth. Listed below are some common symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease.
- Accumulation of plaque or tartar on your teeth.
- Persistent bad breath (Halitosis)
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding gums during and after tooth brushing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth or changes in the position of your teeth
Just like any other health issues, early diagnosis and intervention is the key to the successful treatment of periodontal disease and to avoid more drastic procedures such as dental gum surgery and bone grafting.
However, in the early stage of gum disease, symptoms may not be very noticeable. Only a dental doctor who specializes in gum disease can identify and determine the development and severity of gum disease. In the general screening and diagnosis, a Senior Dentistry Specialist may perform the following procedures.
- Review your medical and oral health profile history to identify contributing factors to your symptoms.
- Examine your mouth to check plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and check the condition of your gums.
- Measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets). A normal pocket measures 1 to 3 mm. If the pocket measures more than 3mm, it indicates gum disease, (the deeper the pocket, the more serious the condition).
- Take full-mouth X-rays to verify the extent of bone loss surrounding your teeth.
Following the preventive dental exam if you show any signs of gum disease, your dental doctor will determine and recommend the best dental gum disease treatment for you. If you are diagnosed with the mildest form of gum disease (gingivitis) and there’s no damage to the structure supporting your teeth, you may simply need a professional cleaning called scaling where your dentist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth above and below the gum line, along with dental care at home including a mouthwash, toothpaste/toothbrush that will be prescribed to you.
However, if your LA certified dentist determines that these dental solutions aren’t enough, deep gum cleaning may be the best dental gum disease treatment option for you to prevent progression of the disease that could possibly lead to bone loss, gum recession, and worse tooth loss if left untreated.
Deep gum cleaning is also known as “Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)”, which involves removal of tartar and plaque at and below the gumline (scaling) and at the same time careful cleaning of the roots’ surfaces (root planing). Local anesthetic is administered to minimize any pain and antimicrobial medication is prescribed to prevent infection. Depending on the stage and severity of periodontal disease, one or several follow up visits may be needed to manage the infection and to restore the health of your gums.
The deep gum cleaning provides a healthy, clean surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to tighten around the tooth again. It helps regenerate healthy gums and thus stronger teeth. Help fight gum disease with deep gum cleaning. Find your gum cleaning dentist now!