Inflamed and bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, and painful chewing are signs your gums are in need of dental intervention. Unfortunately, it is estimated that over 40% of adults over the age of 30 have some stage of gum disease and that number gets higher in those over 60 years old. If you notice any of these signs, talk with your dentist about periodontal disease treatment options. They will probably refer you to a periodontist where one of the following will happen.
Scaling involves cleaning below the gum line. It is done to remove the tartar that has built up, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth and become inflamed. The dentist uses a tool that can reach deep into the periodontal pockets. It will be done all around each tooth. You will be given a local anesthetic to minimize pain during the procedure. Quite often, your mouth will have this done in four separate visits, each one scaling 1/4 of your teeth.
Planing is the process by which your teeth are smoothed out after the scaling procedure. The two procedures are usually done at the same visit. This procedure tends to go a bit deeper than the scaling. When the teeth are smooth, it is harder for bacteria to attach to them and grow. It will remove any bacteria that have grown in the teeth that were not part of the plaque or tartar. In addition, planing allows the gums to grow back and attach to the teeth again.
If there is too much plaque and tartar on the teeth to remove it safely by scaling and planing, you may need to have it removed surgically. The periodontist will cut open the gums and carefully scrape and remove all the tartar and plaque. Once the roots are all clean they will stitch the gums back together. This will require a general anesthetic. Bear in mind that this is only done as a last resort in an effort to keep your teeth from falling out.
Any type of gum disease can spread to other organs in your body making you very ill. Regular dental checkups can alleviate the need for periodontal disease treatment. However, if you find out you do have some stage of gum disease, do not take it lightly. While it may make your mouth uncomfortable for a few days it is much better than losing your teeth or ending up with some major infection in your body.
For more information on periodontal disease treatment, contact a professional near you.