Gum Disease Therapy
Healthier Gums, Healthier Life
Your teeth may be the star of the show, but the gums play a very important role as well in your overall smile. They can also fall victim to infection and decay – in fact, periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common health problems in the world. While early symptoms can seem relatively mild, leaving this infection untreated for too long can eventually cause patients to lose natural teeth and jawbone structure.
At Bellevue Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Preet wants to address the presence of gum disease as early as possible for her valued patients. That’s why dedicated periodontal screenings are an important part of every regular checkup and cleaning. If we discover worrisome signs, therapy can be provided to remove harmful bacteria and restore oral health.
Please contact us today if you’re experiencing any symptoms that may suggest the presence of gum disease, including overly swollen and red gum tissue, oral bleeding after practicing oral hygiene, and persistently bad breath.
Scaling and Root Planing
While professional cleanings can address the presence of gum disease in its earliest stages, more moderate symptoms will require a deeper approach. This is where scaling and root planing comes in. This procedure (which can be thought of as a more extensive and comprehensive cleaning) occurs in two distinct parts. During the scaling portion, we will start by removing all of the plaque and tartar (a more advanced, harder form of plaque) from above and below the gum line, as well as down into the periodontal pockets.
Once scaling is complete, we will turn our focus onto the tooth roots. These surfaces can become rough over time, attracting dangerous bacteria. By performing root planing, these rough spots are gradually smoothed out so that they are less likely to gather bacteria over time.
Scaling and root planing can sometimes be completed in one visit, while some patients may need to return for multiple sessions – our recommendation will depend on the severity of your condition.
Despite our team’s most thorough efforts during scaling and root planing, some dangerous bacteria may still lurk along your gum line afterwards, especially in the deep periodontal pockets. As a supplement, we may recommend antibiotic therapy to maximize the lasting success of your treatment. Medication will be applied directly to the tissue so that it can continue fighting off infection for days and weeks following your appointment. It will also help reduce inflammation.
Scaling and Root Planing FAQs
Many people don’t realize they have gum disease until a dentist tells them. Even more people aren’t sure what the professional treatments are for advanced gum disease or whether or not it will work for them. Dr. Preet wants to make all of his patients feel confident about their gum therapy moving forward and is happy to answer all of your most common questions before you arrive. If you have other questions that are not listed, please feel free to contact us directly. From there, we can determine a potential day and time for your next appointment with Dr. Preet.
Is scaling and root planing necessary?
If you have advanced levels of gum disease, no amount of basic brushing and flossing will properly address it. The same goes for traditional cleanings at our office, which do not go as far as a deep cleaning will. In order to stop the infection of your gums from spreading and developing, the plaque and tartar that exists below your gum line as well as above it needs to be removed. This can only be done with scaling and root planing, which remove bacteria from the deep pockets between teeth and the enamel typically covered by gum tissue.
Is treatment uncomfortable to complete?
Generally, scaling and root planing is not that much different than a traditional cleaning in terms of comfort. Of course, we’re happy to provide local anesthetic if you have sensitive or highly inflamed gums. All patients have varying levels of comfort and sensitivity, so it’s important to discuss these with our office ahead of time so we can make your next gum therapy treatment as comfortable as possible. We also offer nitrous oxide if you need sedation dentistry to stay at ease during treatment.
How long does treatment take?
Overall, treatment length varies depending on how severe your condition actually is. When the entire mouth is affected, we need to focus on one half at a time. One half takes about 45 to 60 minutes, and the second half will need to be completed at a second dental appointment. In other cases, we may only do one quadrant of your mouth so that it has proper time to heal. We don’t want to put more stress on the gums than needed as it is very sensitive tissue.
What should I do/NOT do after treatment?
After the first night, you can go back to brushing and flossing. Just make sure to be very gentle and tread lightly. Furthermore, make sure to avoid alcoholic drinks as well as hot or spicy foods until your gums have healed. Avoid using any tobacco products for at least 72 hours. Refrain from eating any foods or drinking anything other than water for the next 30 minutes immediately after deep cleaning.
How often do I need to have deep cleaning performed?
When you have advanced gum disease, you need to pay closer attention to your gum health because it’s far more at risk of becoming damaged than before you developed the infection. This is why we recommend patients come in once every three to four months moving forward, rather than once every six months.