Did you know that 47.7% of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease? Gum disease can seriously affect your overall health, in addition to wreaking havoc on your teeth. Like dental cavities, it’s an extremely common problem and often goes untreated. When patients do come in for treatment for their gingivitis or periodontitis, periodontal scaling and root planning is one of the most effective procedures. Learn more about this treatment and how it can cure mild to moderate gum disease.
Scaling and Root Planing – Deep Cleaning to Treat Periodontitis
To stop the infection caused by plaque that has gathered at the gum line, scaling and root planning is a procedure that thoroughly cleans the tooth down to its root. This thorough cleaning removes the plaque that is causing infections and prevents the gum disease from getting worse. Ultimately, scaling and root planning is the primary, non-surgical treatment for periodontitis and gingivitis.
The Three Stages of Gum Disease
At its most mild stage, gum disease may be moderately irritating. At its most serious, it may cause you to lose teeth and might even require surgery. It’s also important to know that leaving gum disease untreated will invariably make it become worse. Learn about the three stages of gum disease from least to most severe, and what you can expect from each of them.
Stage 1 – Gingivitis
As the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis causes the gums to become red and irritated, especially when eating or brushing your teeth. While you won’t lose teeth at this stage, you may begin to see infected pockets forming around the gum line.
Stage 2 – Periodontitis
When gingivitis gets worse, it will soon become periodontitis, the second stage of gum disease. With periodontitis, patients will notice red, infected pockets developing and spreading throughout the gums. Also, patients with periodontitis may suffer permanent damage to the fibers holding the teeth in place.
Stage 3 – Advanced Periodontitis
Advanced periodontitis is identified by the fact that permanent damage has been done to gum tissues. Teeth may be on the verge of becoming loose and falling out. Bleeding and infection make eating and speaking difficult and uncomfortable at this stage, and surgery may be the only way to stop it.
Alternative Treatments for Gum Disease
- Certain mouthwashes that are designed to fight gingivitis
- Medication or stopping certain medications
- Gum grafting, which involves taking gum tissue from one area and using it to rebuild the gums in another area
Scaling and Root Planing May Be the Solution to Your Gum Problems
When gum disease is caught in its earliest stages, it’s highly treatable with a procedure called periodontal scaling and root planing. While advanced stages may require surgical treatments, scaling and planing thoroughly removes the plaque and tartar that are causing the disease, effectively stopping it from spreading.
If you think you may have gum disease or other dental issues, make an appointment with West Lakes Dentistry today.