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Gum disease can go undetected for a long time unless you see your dentist on a regular basis. You typically can’t feel the infection but you may see some of the symptoms.
When gum disease is severe, it’s called periodontal disease. You may have periodontal disease if:
When you have gum disease, the normal amount of bacteria on your teeth becomes too much at about six months. It needs a special cleaning. That's because the bacteria buildup starts to migrate down underneath the gums. It gets into areas that you can't reach with regular brushing, flossing, or even a regular teeth cleaning.
At this point, you need a scaling and root planing done. It's also called a deep cleaning. Once your gum disease progresses, you can start to lose bone. This makes it easy for bacteria to reinfect the area every three months. So, you’d need to have a cleaning every three months instead of six.
Severe gum disease causes an inflammatory reaction in your body. Because blood is supplied to your teeth and gums, the infection can move through your body. This is why patients who have gum disease are at a higher risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease and vice versa.
Deep cleaning involves:
Scaling - The dentist will clean the plaque and tartar that builds up in the pockets under your gums.
Root Planing - The dentist will then gently smooth out the root surfaces. This makes it harder for the bacteria to reattach to the tooth. But remember, after three months, reinfection can happen. That’s why you’ll also need a perio maintenance cleaning every three months to keep the pockets clean and stop bone loss.
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