Periodontal Gum Treatment

img_periodontal_gum_treatmentProper gum treatment is crucial to maintaining a healthy, bright smile.

Periodontal treatment is the treatment of the gums. The word periodontal means “around the teeth.” The gums are highly susceptible to gum disease, which in its early stage is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can happen to anyone, even people who brush and floss daily. This is because gum disease can be caused by genetics, illness, or as a side effect of certain medications. Poor oral hygiene is still the number one cause of gum disease.

Bacteria is always in our mouths, but when food particles get left behind, which can happen if you don’t brush and floss thoroughly, the sugars in these food particles allow the bacteria to feed and grow. This is “bad bacteria,” and this is what can cause gum disease. The first signs of gum disease are usually reddened or swollen gums. When gingivitis becomes more severe, your gums may bleed, especially after brushing.

Importance of Periodontal Screening

Gingivitis is common, and it is completely reversible if it is treated in its early stages. Mild gingivitis can usually be reversed by a simple professional dental cleaning. If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis, the more severe form of gum disease. In periodontitis, plaque, a sticky film, has hardened to tartar and is growing under the gum line. To correct this situation, a deep cleaning is necessary. A deep cleaning is sometimes called scaling and root planing. This procedure involves cleaning the teeth below the gum line, scraping off the plaque and tartar, and then smoothing the root surfaces to prevent buildup and possible reinfection.

In severe cases of gum disease, a deep cleaning may not correct the problem. In a case such as this, gum surgery may be indicated. A periodontist, a specialist in the treatment of gum disease, can perform gum surgery to access all areas of the tooth that need cleaning.

Prevention is the key to avoiding periodontitis and the more complicated treatment methods. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as seeing the dentist for checkups twice a year, can prevent gum disease or catch it at its earliest stages when it is simple to treat. If you have questions about gum disease, how it can be prevented and treatment options, you can call our office at any time to set up an appointment.