Keeping up with your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings is one of the best ways to maintain a clean and healthy smile. If, however, you develop symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, your trusted team at Strawman Family Dentistry may recommend a deep cleaning referred to as scaling and root planing. This non-surgical procedure is one of the most effective ways to manage periodontal disease and stop its progression.
Periodontal Disease: An Overview
Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis, is a progressive condition that usually results from poor oral hygiene habits. When plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, is not removed through brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings, it builds up on the teeth and hardens to tartar, irritating the gums and causing inflammation. As the destructive condition advances, it can lead to swollen, bleeding gums, painful chewing, bone loss, and even tooth loss.
Other factors contributing to periodontal disease include family history, crooked teeth, the aging process, diabetes, and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Smoking is another significant cause of gum disease, which can also make its treatment less successful.
What Are the Stages of Periodontal Disease?
The following are the stages of periodontal disease:
- Gingivitis: Symptoms of this earliest stage of gum disease may include gum redness, swelling, and bleeding, as well as bad breath.
- Early Periodontitis: Here, patients may experience a slight loss of the bone and tissues supporting the teeth.
- Moderate Periodontitis: More gum and bone tissue deteriorate during this stage, and some teeth may become loose.
- Advanced Periodontitis: The gum pockets will deepen, more bone is lost, chewing may be painful, and tooth loss may occur.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The first line of defense against periodontal disease is a non-surgical deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. This procedure, coupled with proper oral hygiene practices, has been shown to reverse gingivitis and prevent the progression of periodontitis.
During your appointment, we may numb your gums with a topical or local anesthetic for your comfort. Our hygienist will remove plaque and tartar deposits from the base of each tooth and below the gum line using a dental instrument or ultrasonic device. Once the pockets are irrigated and sterilized, a root planing instrument will smooth your tooth root surfaces to encourage gum tissue healing and reattachment.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
While there is no cure for periodontitis, periodontal maintenance every three months is necessary to control and manage the condition. The reason why it's important to maintain your appointments is that the periodontal disease-causing bacteria reestablish within three months after treatment. Dental cleanings disrupt the destructive process, preventing increased pocket depth and additional bone loss.
An essential component of your soft tissue management is maintaining meticulous home oral hygiene. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, floss each day, and rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash. We also encourage you to steer away from smoking or the use of tobacco products. Caring for your oral health will ensure you maintain healthy smiles for many years to come.
Periodontal Care Near Me
Contact Strawman Family Dentistry to learn more about preventing, treating, and managing periodontal disease to promote long-term healthy smiles. You can always count on our team for the highest level of care and service.
Call our Cincinnati office at 513-521-2100 to schedule your appointment today!
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