When gum disease first starts, it is almost invisible. The red, swollen gums that characterize the first stages often go unnoticed. Some may take notice but think that these symptoms are no big deal. When gum disease goes untreated, it only continues to grow worse. Bacteria travel below the gums as the tissue begins to pull away from your teeth. Once there, they start attacking your jawbone and your periodontal ligaments. Pockets between your gums and teeth grow deeper. Gums recede, and your teeth become loose. Eventually, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. If you have gum disease, it is crucial to seek treatment right away. Shenandoah Family Dentistry can help with periodontal therapy.
WHAT IS PERIODONTAL THERAPY?
Periodontal therapy is a noninvasive treatment for gum disease that involves the use of scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth during which all surfaces both above and below your gumline are thoroughly cleaned. Scaling is the cleaning of the visible surfaces of your teeth. Using a scaler, we clean your teeth of all buildup, including stubborn tartar, or calcified plaque. We give close attention to the areas of your teeth around the gumline and just below it. After the teeth have been scaled, we then move on to root planing. Using specialized tools, we remove plaque, bacteria, and toxins from the roots of your teeth, effectively smoothing them. By smoothing the surfaces of your tooth roots, we prevent the ability of new plaque and bacteria to adhere. Finally, an antibacterial wash is administered below the gums to clean the area out. You are then scheduled for a follow-up visit 6 to 8 weeks later to make sure that your oral health is improving.
CONTINUED TREATMENT WITH PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE
For many patients, they show significant improvement in their oral health when they return for their follow-up visit. However, if periodontal therapy does not yield the desired results, we may then recommend you for periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a series of regularly scheduled visits during which the teeth are examined and cleaned. This is done to help your gums, and your whole mouth, to further heal. The condition of your mouth at your follow up will determine the frequency of your appointments.
GUM DISEASE PREVENTION
Successful periodontal therapy helps your gums to properly reattach to your teeth, enabling them to effectively prevent new bacteria from traveling below the gumline. However, it is possible for new gum disease to occur. It is essential that you take action to prevent this from happening. To prevent gum disease, you need to practice good oral hygiene. Oral hygiene involves several components. Most of your oral hygiene habits take place at home. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition to your oral care routine at home, it is also recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year.
With periodontal therapy, we can stop the progression of gum disease and allow your gums to begin healing. For more information, call Shenandoah Family Dentistry today at (540) 667-8731.