`Things To Know About Gum Diseases And Deep Cleaning`Things To Know About Gum Diseases And Deep Cleaning

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that involves the gums and the bone surrounding them. It can affect one or many teeth, and can range from gingivitis (gum irritation) to periodontitis (nerve infection). It is important to take care of your gums; taking care of your gums and teeth also means taking care of your mouth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of American adults have some form of gum disease. It might be a serious condition, but periodontal disease is very much treatable and preventable. Below are some things worth knowing about gum disease and deep cleaning of the teeth.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Many people that have gum disease are usually not aware that they have disease, primarily because it is mostly painless. Some of its common signs are loose teeth, bad breath, pus around the gums and teeth, and gums that bleed easily, swollen, red or pull away from the tooth.

Stages of Gum Disease

  1. Gingivitis. The earliest and mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis is characterized by swelling and redness of the gums. Unlike those more serious gum diseases, gingivitis usually does not require any surgical treatment because it can be managed with professional cleaning and attention to regular oral care routine.
  2. Chronic periodontitis. This is the most common among the full-fledged gum diseases. The main symptoms of chronic periodontitis include receding gums and pocket formation between the teeth and gums. It usually occurs in adults than in children, majority of which with this condition are over 35 years of age.
  3. Aggressive periodontitis. Aggressive periodontitis can occur among kids as young as 3 years old, at times even younger. By age 20, these individuals can lose their teeth. One of its subtypes includes localized juvenile periodontitis common among adolescents that involves over-colonization of bacteria. Another one is prepubertal periodontitis that affects children after the appearance of their primary teeth. Its common symptoms include tooth pain, excess plaque, red and swollen gums, unpleasant breath and presence of pus.
  4. Necrotizing periodontitis. This is the most severe among all gum disease, and is also known as acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. It can destroy tissues, ligaments and even bones in the mouth. This is common among people who smoke, those who are malnourished and those with compromised immune systems.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

It is important to schedule regular checkups and cleaning appointments with your dentist every six months. During these visits, your dentist can polish tooth surfaces, remove plaque, and check the overall gum tissue health. This will help the dentist determine if the gums bleed easily, have pulled away from the teeth, or have formed pockets around the teeth.

Gum Disease and Deep Cleaning

Patients who are diagnosed with chronic gum disease or have deep periodontal pockets are usually recommended by dentists to undergo a dental procedure called deep cleaning. The deep cleaning procedure involves scaling and root planning.

  • Scaling. In this procedure, the dentist will remove tartar and plaque, which is a build-up of a yellow-coloured mineral, under and along the gums. These are not easily reached and removed with mere brushing and flossing.
  • Root planning. This procedure involves tooth cleaning using a laser or other instruments to get rid of rough spots where bacteria can collect. By doing so, bacteria are cleaned and any more serious gum problems are prevented.

Following a deep cleaning procedure, the dentist will usually prescribe an antibiotic for the infection, coupled with over-the-counter pain medication to ease discomfort. From here, the dentist can recommend follow-up appointments to closely monitor the healing and the removal of bacteria, as well as to monitor overall oral health.

by James Franklin
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