General Dentistry Treatments for Gum Disease
Gum disease is far more common than most people realize. In fact, this condition, also known as periodontitis, is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Dr. Peter Hellwig and his team can address gum disease with several general dentistry treatments. Of course, when possible, prevention is the best treatment, which is why we stress the importance of routine dental visits. With regular appointments, we can also treat the condition in the early stages. Scaling and root planing is a good option for moderate gum disease. This treatment will eradicate oral bacteria and reduce your risk for future tooth loss. To learn more about root planing and scaling, contact our San Diego, CA practice today.
Gum Disease: What You Should Know
Oral bacteria can build up quickly. Initially, they will accumulate on your teeth, increasing your risk for dental decay. If bacteria go unchecked, however, they will spread below your gum line. Then they will create pockets in your gums, which will grow larger with time. As the pockets grow, your gum tissue will pull away from your dental roots. Your teeth could loosen and eventually come out. In addition, you could suffer gum sensitivity, inflammation, and bleeding. In severe cases, gum disease could even affect your jawbone, leading to bone recession or infection.
Treating Gum Disease in the Early Stages
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. In this stage, the disease is curable, but it is important to receive timely treatment before it progresses to a chronic condition. We can usually treat gingivitis with a routine cleaning and oral irrigation. If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, you should be extremely vigilant about your oral hygiene in the future. Proper care can reduce your risk for gum disease.
Scaling and Root Planing: The Most Common Treatment for Moderate Gum Disease
The second stage of gum disease is called periodontitis, and, at this point, the disease is chronic. Fortunately, with scaling and root planing, we can usually keep the condition under control and prevent tooth loss. Dr. Hellwig or your hygienist will remove bacterial pockets below the gum line. Then he or she will carefully smooth your dental roots. Rough patches can trap bacteria, so by eliminating these areas, your practitioner can prevent microbes from returning. In some cases, we may also prescribe antibiotics or topical treatments.
Maintaining Your Treatment Results
Though scaling and planing can keep gum disease under control, there is no cure for the condition. Nevertheless, proper care can protect your smile for years to come. You may want to schedule more frequent dental visits. With three or more visits a year, we can detect gum disease flare-ups more quickly and accurately. Of course, proper oral care at home is also essential. You should brush at least twice a day, particularly after meals. You should also floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day. Dr. Hellwig may recommend specific products that may target bacteria more aggressively.
Find Out if Scaling and Root Planing Is Right for You
If you are suffering from gum inflammation or any of the other symptoms of gum disease, contact us immediately to prevent lasting damage to your oral health.