Many people take their gums for granted, but this precious pink tissue is so much more than a frame for your teeth! Gum health plays a pivotal role in an individual’s oral and overall well-being. Unfortunately, however, many people miss out on the benefits of healthy gums due to periodontal (gum) disease. What exactly is gum disease? Why is it so serious? How can the team at Southeastern Dental Care help you fight it? This page explains the answers to those important questions.
There are two basic types of gum disease. The milder form is known as gingivitis. When bacteria sneak beneath the gum line, they cause the gums to become inflamed and swollen. They may bleed easily and be extra tender. At this point, no permanent damage to the gums or the bone beneath them has occurred. Gingivitis is reversible; in some cases, defeating it takes nothing more than a few adjustments to a person’s oral hygiene routine.
Left untreated, gingivitis may develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis causes gum recession and wears away at the bones that support the teeth. The bone loss can become so serious that it leads to tooth loss. Recovering from periodontitis often requires extensive gum disease treatment in Lakeville. Surgery may even be necessary. Also, since periodontitis is not really “curable,” stopping it from recurring often takes diligent maintenance.
Gum disease is a potentially devastating condition, and not just because of how it affects the mouth. Gum disease and the bacteria that causes it can wreak havoc throughout the body. In fact, various research studies have connected gum disease with diabetes, dementia, preterm birth, and cardiovascular illness.
“Periodontal therapy” is an umbrella term for dental treatments that aim to fight gum disease, both through preventative and interventive means.
During routine dental checkups, our team closely examines the gum tissue and looks for any signs of problems. We also use a measuring device to discover the depths of the tiny pockets between the teeth and gums (deeper pockets are an indicator of gum disease). We record all of that data so we can monitor our patients’ gum health from checkup to checkup. If we notice any issues, we design a treatment plan to get the patient’s oral health back on track.
Scaling and root planing is a common type of periodontal therapy in Lakeville. Essentially, it is a deep cleaning of the mouth. During the procedure, we remove all plaque and bacteria from the teeth, both above and below the gum line. Then, we smooth out the roots of the teeth so it is more difficult for bacteria to cling to them. Depending on the extent of the gum disease, scaling and root planing might take a few appointments to complete.