Most adults already understand the importance of visiting a dentist at least twice a year for basic dental care. Unfortunately, some will ignore this basic preventative care, which can result in the development of gum disease. Although this is a sign of poor oral health, gum disease treatment will be very important in maintaining good overall health because the bacteria associated with gum disease can lead to cardiac events.
Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease. This swelling and inflammation of the gingiva is typically caused by a build-up of plaque. Symptoms of this form of gum disease include swollen or tender gums, and bleeding, even when gently brushing the teeth. Treatment of gingivitis involves visits with a periodontist, who will focus on the removal of bacteria and plaque.
This in-office treatment is combined with in-home treatments such as a mouth wash containing hydrogen peroxide and flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can quickly lead to periodontitis. Therefore, early gum disease treatment is important to prevent further damage to the oral cavity. Periodontitis is another more serious form of gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. While many of the symptoms are the same, the treatment of periodontitis will require a more aggressive plan in order to properly treat the disease.
There are many techniques for treating the gum disease periodontitis that will become gradually more invasive. The initial treatment is a technique known as scaling and root planing, which is similar to the treatment of gingivitis. Scaling and root planing is the non-surgical removal of plaque. It uses specialized dental tools to mechanically remove the plaque below the gumline, most patients will receive a local anesthetic for this procedure.
This initial gum disease treatment is effective for most patients because it immediately stops the progression of gingivitis or periodontitis when combined with the use of a specialized mouth wash with essential oils or antibacterial agents. However, some patients will need a more aggressive treatment involving surgery. Periodontal surgery allows the periodontist to have better access to the alveolar bone, which is most affected by the plaque and bacteria.
The purpose of the surgery is two-fold. First, the dentist must remove the plaque build-up underneath the gum line. If the disease has progressed enough to damage the alveolar bone, the surgeon can create bone grafts to treat these irregularities.Aggressive gum disease treatment is important in the prevention of tooth loss and a decline in one’s overall health. Therefore, even if you skip those twice yearly visits to the dentist, if you are showing symptoms of gum disease, you can longer afford to wait to visit an oral health professional.
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