By Stephen Rogers on July 16, 2018
Strong teeth require the support of healthy gums. Unfortunately, periodontitis, or gum disease, is extremely common. Gum disease causes inflammation of the gum tissues that can ultimately lead to periodontal pockets and the loss of healthy gum and bone tissue.
Although the risks of gum disease are frightening, this is a progressive condition that can usually be managed with early intervention and appropriate periodontal treatment to eliminate infection.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria build up beneath the gum tissues, creating an infection that causes the gums to swell and become more tender. With proper dental care and gingivitis treatment at our Long Island, NY dental practice, patients can eliminate gingivitis before it progresses to the more advanced stages of periodontal disease.
Routine Dental Cleaning
Many patients are happy to learn that the most common treatment for gingivitis is a routine dental cleaning. A professional dental cleaning removes built on plaque and tartar that may be too hard to be brushed or flossed away with an at-home oral hygiene routine. It also drastically reduces the amount of bacteria on the teeth and gums to reduce inflammation and restore healthy gum tissues.
As long as patients continue to schedule biannual dental cleanings, it is highly unlikely that gingivitis will ever progress to the more advanced stages of gum disease. General dentistry services such as cleanings and exams are the best way to maintain good oral health and prevent more serious dental complications.
If gingivitis is more severe and seems to be progressing, our dentists may prescribe the use of medication. These medications may include a prescription-strength antibacterial mouthwash or an oral antibiotic.
Each of these medicines serves to further reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth to prevent gingivitis from advancing. Medication complements a professional dental cleaning to ensure that no further complications develop.
Scaling and Root Planing
Typically, gingivitis can be controlled with a routine dental cleaning and the use of prescription medicine. However, in cases where gingivitis is more advanced and periodontal pockets have begun to form, we may recommend a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing.
This is a non-surgical and minimally invasive technique that allows our dentists to clean beneath the gum line and reach areas that may be neglected during a routine dental cleaning. Root planing and scaling removes built on plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth, and smooths out rough patches along the roots of the tooth that may attract bacteria.
Root planing and scaling is nearly always combined with the use of antibiotic medication or an antibacterial rinse to ensure that all harmful bacteria is eliminated and any infection is treated. Root planing and scaling promotes healing so that patients can treat gum disease without having to resort to surgical treatment methods.
If you are experiencing gum sensitivity, inflammation, or bleeding by the gum line, you are likely suffering from gum disease. To learn more about the periodontal treatments offered by the experienced dentists at Greater Long Island Dental, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our team looks forward to helping you restore a strong and healthy gum line to serve as a secure foundation for your teeth.
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