Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals.
Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions. Your periodontist can help you maintain gum health, check for periodontal disease, and perform periodontal surgery if needed. Additionally, our dental office provides restorative dentistry services for patients who have damaged or missing teeth.
Why is Oral Hygiene So Important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease. We also provide periodontal disease treatment in our Plano, TX, dental office.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Several different factors can accelerate periodontal diseases. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria in dental plaque, which hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces). A deep teeth (or pocket) cleaning may be needed. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Plano, TX
Effective daily brushing, flossing, and regular professional examinations and cleanings are the best way to prevent gum disease. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Scaling and Root Planing
The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing for a deep cleaning or pocket cleaning. These non-surgical procedures aim to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease.
Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment or a preventative measure. They are commonly performed in cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.
What Do the Procedures Entail?
We will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough mouth examination, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.
When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
Root planing is performed to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. The tooth’s root is smoothed, which promotes healing and helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. Sometimes, we may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, we cannot remove plaque and tartar thoroughly. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and plaque-free. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.
Benefits of Treatment
If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. The risk for periodontal disease increases when gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth. As pockets deepen, more bacteria can colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing and reduce bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.
Reverse Gum Disease
Call Texas Dental for care today at 972-636-4522 . You may also schedule a dental appointment with our dentists online.