Gum disease is something that is serious and must be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage, infection, or spread to other parts of the body. At Park Dental, we are proactive with our patients by recommending regular cleanings and exams. We tend to the gums with periodontal therapy which includes scaling and root planing when there are signs of early gum disease. Since gum disease is more than likely to worsen without care and treatment, it is vital to clean and clear these sensitive areas right away with tools and techniques that will lead to healthier gums immediately and in the future.
Here is more information about gum disease, its signs/symptoms, how we treat it, who is at the greatest risk, and what to expect. Even the slightest sign of gum disease is nothing to take lightly, so this is an important read.
How Gum Disease Develops
Bacteria from your teeth caused by plaque and tartar buildup can progress towards your gums, causing irritation, bleeding, soreness, swelling, etc. We recommend scaling your teeth, which removes this plaque and tartar before it spreads to your gums. If bacteria has already entered the gum line and beneath, root planing is advised. During root planning, we will smooth the root surfaces under the gum line where periodontal pockets may have developed and bacteria has accumulated. When an infection develops and is left untreated, periodontal disease can emerge. This effects the tissues and bones that support your teeth, possibly leading to tooth loss and other oral health trouble. Gum infection can spread throughout the body and has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complications, and other diseases and conditions.
Scaling and Root Planing – Will it Hurt? How Long Will it Take?
Neither scaling nor root planing should cause pain or discomfort. We may opt to numb the affected area before treatment so you remain calm and comfortable throughout the process. Depending upon the severity of your condition, we may recommend you break up your treatment into two appointments so you’re not sitting in the chair for an excessive period of time. There is a chance that after the procedure you’ll experience gum tenderness, sensitivity, and perhaps a bit of bleeding. This is normal and can be alleviated by taking over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol. Brushing and flossing can be kept up with as usual, but you may need to use a gentler touch until any discomfort goes away. Rinsing with salt water is also healing and soothing. We may prescribe antibiotics as well to ensure any infection is completely cleared after treatment.
Who is at Risk for Gum Disease?
Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 47% of adults age 30+ have gum disease of varying degrees. Anyone can be at risk, but certain factors make getting gum disease more probable. These include:
- Use of tobacco or alcohol
- Family history of gum disease
- Being pregnant
- Systematic bodily disease
- Certain medications including cancer therapy drugs and steroids
- Blood cell disorders
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Change in bite (the way the teeth come together)
- Dental work/restorations no longer fit properly
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Teeth separating from one another/spacing
- Swollen/tender gums
- Gums that bleed during routine brushing/flossing
- Receding gums (pulling away or back from the teeth)
- Unusual/bad taste in the mouth
- Constant bad breath/halitosis
- Sore(s) in mouth that don’t heal well or at all
At Park Dental we often treat gum disease by scaling and root planing, as well as by using laser therapy. This tool helps remove inflamed tissue more thoroughly and painlessly. With dental advancements such as this, we are better able to treat gum issues, leading to a healthier mouth and continued care for oral hygiene.
For more information about gum disease, scaling, root planing, or any general oral hygiene questions or concerns, please contact Park Dental at 407-671-8901. We are here for you when you need us, putting your dental health at the forefront.