Treating gum disease depends on how severe the damage is. Your dentist or hygienist will make a recommendation for treatment only after a thorough evaluation.
As gum disease goes untreated, plaque, tartar, bacteria, and even debris fill the spaces between the teeth and the gums, irritating and causing damage to the gums and eroding the bone that supports the teeth.
If gingivitis is caught before it has a chance to progress into full-blown gum disease or cause long-term damage, treatment is just a matter of one or two thorough cleanings. Your dentist will likely follow up with instructions to help you clean your teeth more carefully and to improve the health of your teeth and gums. You may also be advised to visit your dentist more consistently.
If gum disease is a little more advanced, treatment may require deeper cleaning. This treatment involves scaling, a procedure that removes tartar from below the gum line, and root planing. This cleaning is done one quadrant of the mouth at a time and under local anesthetic.
Scaling removes tartar and other debris from below the gums. Root planing is done to remove rough areas from the tooth below the gum line so the gums can heal and readhere to the tooth. As the gums heal, the pockets begin to shrink, reducing and potentially eliminating gum disease. Medicated mouth rinses or other medications, along with an electric toothbrush are often recommended to help manage infection and speed healing.
If gum disease has progressed to an advanced stage, pockets may not heal after scaling and root planing. In this case, surgery is often required to clean the teeth more effectively and shrink pockets. In some cases, a dentist may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist that specializes in the gums and the bone that supports the teeth.
Call (619) 640-5100 for a free Gum Disease consultation.