Gum Disease Therapy
Most people have heard of gum (periodontal) disease, although many do not know of its severity. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Unfortunately, the preliminary symptoms often go unnoticed because there is minimal or no pain. At Bagley Dental, we look for the symptoms and signs during your routine checkup so we can catch the disease early. We also offer some preventive treatments to reduce or eliminate your chances of developing the disease. If the disease is left to progress, we typically suggest a treatment known as scaling and root planing.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is broken down into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease and also the most common form. It is an inflammation of the gum tissue that surrounds the roots of your teeth. Patients with gingivitis may notice gums that are red, swollen, and tender. It may also cause your gums to bleed easily during brushing and flossing. Fortunately, gingivitis does not cause bone loss around the teeth. It can also be easily treated and prevented. If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, we recommend improving your oral health care routine. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing is also an integral part of keeping gingivitis at bay. We may also recommend water picks, antibacterial mouthwash, or an interproximal cleansing device.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it may develop into the more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. Periodontitis is also characterized by red, swollen gums that tend to bleed easily. However, periodontitis can lead to an infection of the underlying bone and supportive tissues. Deep periodontal pockets that trap food debris and bacteria are also the result of periodontitis. Ultimately, periodontitis will lead to tooth loss. While periodontitis can be prevented and treated, the damage to your bone is irreversible. Recently, periodontitis was also linked to systemic health issues like increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Scaling and Root Planing
If you suffer from periodontitis, J. Andrew Bagley DDS and W. Ryan Bagley DDS will typically recommend a procedure known as scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth above and below the gumline. Scaling and root planing is an effective treatment because it eliminates plaque and tartar deposits from the surfaces of your teeth. The bacteria in plaque and tartar are the main culprit of gum disease. During the procedure, we will use an ultrasonic scaler to produce microscopic water bubbles that explode on the surface of your teeth, killing the bacteria and breaking up the deposits.
Once your teeth have been properly scaled, we will plane the roots. By making rough areas smooth again, we reduce the chances of plaque, tartar, and bacteria from reestablishing below the gumline. Root planing also helps the gums firmly reattach to the teeth. After the procedure is complete, your gums should return to a healthy, pink, and secure state. If you still experience symptoms, we may recommend an alternative form of treatment.
Schedule Your Appointment Now!
If you believe you may have gum disease, call (509) 547-1631, and schedule your appointment now!