Treating Your Gum Disease

Health & Medical Blog

Gum disease symptoms include swollen gums and bleeding when you eat or brush your teeth. However, it's possible to have early gum disease and not notice symptoms at all. That's one reason regular dental exams are important. When your dentist examines your mouth and finds evidence of gum disease, he or she will probably advise you to take prompt action so the condition doesn't advance. Here is an overview of how gum disease is treated.

Teeth Cleaning And Lifestyle Changes

When you have gum disease, tartar and bacteria accumulate at the gum line. Eventually pockets form at the base of your teeth where the gums pull away and fill with infection. Your dentist determines the severity of your condition by measuring the depth of the pockets. If your case is mild, you may be able to stop and reverse the condition by having your teeth cleaned, improving your oral hygiene habits, and stopping smoking. These steps improve the health of your gums and help prevent the further accumulation of tartar, but the only way to remove the tartar that is already present is with a dental cleaning by your hygienist.

The hygienist scraps off tartar at the gum line and along your teeth. Once your teeth are cleaned, there will be nothing to irritate your gums and cause bleeding and irritation. As long as you brush your teeth daily and have regular cleanings, you may be able to prevent the progression of your gum disease.

Scaling And Planing

If your gums have pulled away from your teeth and created pockets, your dentist will probably recommend the scaling and planing procedure. This removes bacteria, plaque, and tartar below the gum as well as above. The dentist may use an ultrasonic devise to clean the debris off the roots of your teeth so it can all be flushed out with a jet of water. However, your dentist will still need to scrape the roots of your teeth to make sure nothing is left behind. This procedure may be done with a local anesthetic to keep you from feeling pain. Once all the buildup under your gums is removed and the pockets are flushed out, your gums can begin to heal.

It will take several weeks for health to be restored to your gums. Your dentist will measure the depth of the pockets on following visits to monitor your progress. It's important to brush your teeth and use dental care products as directed by your dentist to keep plaque and bacteria at bay so the pockets stay free of infection and tartar. If you allow plaque to build up again, your gums won't heal and your gum disease may get worse.

Although you may want to avoid the expense or anxiety associated with undergoing gum disease treatment, you don't want to put it off. When gum disease gets to the advanced stage, you can lose your teeth and the bone in your jaw can even be affected. Contact a dentist, like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, for more help.


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