What causes gum disease? Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth, even as we sleep. If it is not thoroughly removed it hardens into tartar. Tartar typically allows more plaque to form and makes it more difficult to remove. As this all builds up on a persons teeth, it is irritating their gum tissue and over time can destroy the underlying bone holding in their teeth. The gum pulls and shrinks away from the tooth and a pocket between the tooth and gum is formed. This pocket just collects more plaque and bacteria and makes it harder to keep clean at home. This results in infection and tooth loss.
One of the first and easiest steps in treating gum disease is scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning. This method involves no surgery. A local anesthetic can be used to numb the teeth needing the deep cleaning. Another alternative is a gel that is placed in the pocket between the tooth and gum which numbs the gum. Then an ultrasonic cleaner is used to clean the pocket out. This treatment typically requires two visits, one hour long each.
Maintaining good oral hygiene at home and continued care from your dentist and hygienist is essential to help prevent gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Gum disease will not go away by itself. Left untreated, surgery may be needed to save affected teeth. Preventing and treating the disease in the early stages are the best ways to keep your smile healthy. If you feel you may have this problem, please call and make your appointment today! You have a dentist who cares right here in Sylvania.