Having excellent oral hygiene doesn't just protect your teeth from cavities, but it also protects your gums from oral bacteria. Those who do not follow proper dental care are especially prone to periodontal disease or gum disease.
In the early stages, gum disease can be successfully reversed with professional deep cleaning treatments.
The Signs of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an oral bacterial infection that happens in the gums. This same oral bacteria is also what causes cavities and tooth decay. The bacterial infection leads to inflammation and an array of other symptoms, including sensitivity, redness, bleeding, and bad breath. Symptoms of periodontal disease do not disappear after brushing and using mouthwash.
The three stages of periodontal disease are:
During this early stage of gum disease, mild inflammation, soreness, and bleeding after brushing or flossing are common symptoms.
The second stage of gum disease starts to affect the ligaments and tissues that work with your jaw bone to form an anchor system for your teeth. Symptoms become more severe, and professional treatment is typically required at this stage to reverse the condition and the symptoms. Left untreated, pockets begin forming between the teeth and the gums, making it difficult to remove the oral bacteria with brushing or mouthwash efforts.
During the third and final stage, the ligaments that work to anchor your teeth into the jawbone have been destroyed by infectious bacteria.
How Treatment Can Help Reverse Gum Disease
The earlier gum disease is detected and treated, the easier it is to reverse. Improving your oral hygiene routine and having professional dental cleanings to remove built-up tartar from along the gum line is often sufficient enough in the beginning stages of gingivitis. However, by the time periodontitis has set in, your dentist's professional treatments are the only option in reversing the damage and saving your teeth.
If gum disease carries on without treatment, the teeth will begin to loosen as the periodontal ligaments that anchor them into place continue to decay. At this point, gum disease is irreversible, and tooth loss will likely follow.
Additional Benefits of Deep Cleaning Treatments
If you've been recently diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend a deep cleaning treatment. Commonly known as scaling and root planing, this process works to clean out plaque and bacteria stuck in the pockets between the gums and the teeth. Your dentist will use a unique tool to remove plaque from your tooth's crown down to the root.
Scaling and root planing are incredibly effective at managing inflammation caused by gum disease. The treatment is commonly used to:
Prevent gum disease - A deep cleaning can help remove build-up that will eventually lead to gum disease.
Prevent other health conditions - Plaque known to cause gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and put patients at a higher risk of developing other conditions like heart disease and stroke.
Protect the teeth - The bacteria associated with gum disease can cause deep pockets between the teeth and gums to form. Eventually, these pockets start to pull away from the teeth, and tooth loss is the result.
Improve chronic bad breath - One of the first noticeable gum disease symptoms is persistent mouth odor or bad breath. Bad breath can be immediately reduced after a professional deep cleaning treatment.
What To Expect After Treatment
Immediately after a deep cleaning treatment, you can expect your teeth and gums to be sensitive for a few days. Eating a diet of soft foods and avoiding overly hot or cold items can ease discomfort. Within two to three weeks, your teeth should feel strong, healthy, and bacteria-free. If your dentist prescribes antibiotics or any over-the-counter mouth rinses, be sure to follow their recommendations.
After a professional deep cleaning, you must practice good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease from returning. Brush twice per day for a full two minutes, and focus on brushing areas where your teeth meet your gums.
Regular dental cleaning appointments can do wonders in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Contact Elite Dental & Denture PC today to schedule a cleaning with your hygienist.