Quick Summary

Gum Disease Treatment

Gum disease affects the gums and bone levels. It can leave the roots of your teeth exposed. And that can cause tooth sensitivity. Worse, it can also cause your teeth to fall out over time.

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Diagnosis and treatment plan

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Gum Disease Treatment

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:

  • Your teeth are loose
  • You have bad breath
  • Your gums are swollen
  • You have pus in your gums
  • Your gums bleed when you brush
  • Your roots start becoming exposed

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.

A diagram of the stages of gum disease and pocket depth

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.

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The Process

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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