Early treatment is key to reversing gingivitis and stopping periodontitis.

Gum disease is a common, yet serious, dental condition that is associated with a number of oral health issues. While symptoms can start out as minor, the disease can progress to a point where tooth loss can occur. In the early stages, non-surgical treatment options like scaling and root planing can stop and even reverse the progression of gum disease.

How does gum disease progress?

Gum disease progresses through a number of stages as the condition worsens. The earliest stage is gingivitis, and symptoms are very minor at this point. Naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth can begin to multiply in larger numbers, causing gum inflammation and bad breath.

In many cases, gingivitis can be reversed through better oral hygiene practices or through minor periodontal therapy interventions. However, if left untreated, the disease will soon begin to progress to its more serious stages.

As the gum disease or periodontitis progresses, it can lead to bacteria infiltrating difficult-to-reach areas. The inflammation of the gums causes the gumline to pull away from the teeth, creating deep pockets. Bacteria can thrive in even greater numbers inside the pockets, where they are protected from both brushing and routine dental cleanings.

At this point, you may notice visual gum recession, frequent soreness, or that your gums bleed when you floss. Without treatment, the issues will only get worse as the pockets deepen and the bacteria spread. Eventually, they can infect the bone and tissue that hold teeth in place, causing them to loosen and eventually fall out.

Why is deep cleaning needed?

Once pockets begin to form, there are still effective non-surgical treatment options to halt the progression of gum disease. One of the most common is a dental deep cleaning consisting of scaling and root planing. This procedure is, in many ways, similar to the routine dental cleaning you receive during regular visits.

Like a routine cleaning, scaling removes hardened plaque and tartar deposits where bacteria can grow and multiply. A routine cleaning removes these deposits above the gumline, preventing tooth decay and other issues. However, routine cleaning can’t reach the deep pockets that have developed due to progressing gum disease.

Removing plaque and tartar from these pockets is a top priority for eliminating bacteria populations to stop gum disease. After the scaling, root planing serves to prevent bacteria from taking hold again by smoothing the tooth surface below the gumline. The smooth surface makes it harder for bacteria to attach to it and grow.

What is the deep cleaning procedure like?

Dental deep cleaning is a non-surgical intervention for gum disease, so your treatment will take place at your dentist’s office. There won’t be any need for sedatives or even local anesthesia like you would have for a filling. The procedure is almost identical to a routine dental cleaning.

First, the dentist uses special tools to reach deep within the pockets in your gums to remove bacteria and scrape plaque and tartar from the tooth’s surface. This is more delicate work than a routine cleaning, so it will take a bit longer, however, you’ll remain relatively comfortable throughout the procedure.

The dentist will then use a different set of tools to complete the root planing. Properly deep cleaning teeth relies on this step to prevent bacteria from simply coming back after the procedure. The special tools smooth out the surface of the teeth below the gumline, stopping bacteria from taking hold again.

This simple procedure can stop the progression of gum disease in many cases, although other treatments may be necessary if the disease has progressed too far. Following the procedure, you might have some gum soreness for several days, but should enjoy a fast and pain-free recovery.

You can see the process of scaling and root planing yourself by watching this video showing how Metro East Dental Care handles the procedure.

Don’t let gum disease get worse.

Gum disease has serious consequences, but it can be handled effectively when identified early. If you’re noticing any symptoms, don’t hesitate to have them checked out. Starting treatment today could save you from more invasive interventions down the line. Visiting your dentist regularly can also ensure such problems are quickly identified.

Additionally, you don’t need to delay your treatment due to insurance concerns. Metro East Dental Care provides a range of membership plans and financing options that can help you receive the care you need.

Get proactive about gum disease today.

Have you noticed sore or bleeding gums, gumline recessions, or other oral health issues? Metro East Dental Care is here to provide for all of your dentistry needs, including gum disease treatment and periodontal cleaning in Granite City, IL. Request an appointment today to find out more about your treatment options.