Periodontal Maintenance, Scaling & Root Planing
Periodontal disease or gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gum tissue and bone that supports and holds the teeth in place. Without treatment of periodontal disease it can lead to irreversible bone loss and ultimately tooth loss.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease or gum disease often begins as gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red swollen inflamed gums, which bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth. Inflammation of the gum tissue is usually caused by plaque, which harbors bacteria that builds up along the gum line and in between the teeth. Gingivitis is a reversible condition with regular dental cleanings and improved home care. Without treatment gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, which can have irreversible effects on the gums and bone, which supports the teeth.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the diseased structures. The first step in treatment is usually a deep cleaning or scaling and root planning. During this procedure numbness is placed so a dental professional can clean deep along the gum line removing plaque and calculus. The goal of the deep cleaning is to smooth the root surface to allow the gums to re-attach to the root surface.
Following the deep cleaning a shortened check-up schedule or periodontal maintenance is usually recommended to closely monitor the progression of the periodontal disease. Strict home care is also very important to prevent the progression of the disease.
When periodontal disease is more advanced or is not responding to initial treatment, a referral to a Periodontist, a dentist that specializes in treating periodontal disease, may be necessary.