Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a potentially problematic condition that often goes undetected until it causes serious problems.
We can control early to moderate gum disease with scaling and root planning (deep cleaning), localized or systemic antibiotics, antimicrobial solutions, specialized home care instructions, and frequent preventive visits.
As an adult, the threat of gum disease (periodontal disease) is a real and potentially dangerous condition. Gum disease is particularly dangerous because the progression of the disease is often painless, going undetected until it creates serious problems. Genetics play a small role in the development of periodontal disease, however gum disease is most often directly related to how well people care for their teeth and gums.
Stage of gum disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and the supporting bone. It is caused by the buildup of plaque on and around the teeth. When plaque remains on a tooth surface for an extended period of time, the plaque calcifies into tartar (calculus). Plaque and calculus contain micro-organisms that release toxins causing the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by swelling, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress and can become a more advanced stage of gum disease (referred to as periodontitis). With periodontitis, the disease process causes bone to resorb. When teeth lose their bone support they begin to have mobility. Eventually, as bone loss becomes more severe, teeth may need to be extracted.
Scaling and root planning
Scaling and root planning, or a deep cleaning, is a procedure performed by one of our doctors or hygienists in which the teeth and surrounding gum tissue is anesthetized with local anesthetic. After you are sufficiently numb, we are able to remove plaque, calculus, and bacteria in order to improve the health of the gum tissue and reduce inflammation. This is a routine procedure with very minimal postoperative discomfort.