Plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth can result in gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, it can lead to tooth loss. The most effective way to prevent gum disease is to visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and exams.
There are two main stages of gum disease:
1. Gingivitis: Symptoms of gingivitis include red and swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. With gingivitis, only your gums are affected and sometimes only a regular cleaning is needed. Without treatment, periodontitis can develop.
2. Periodontitis: Periodontal disease (often referred to as “the silent disease”) has been linked to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, low birth weight, and other health issues. It affects the bone itself and requires a deep cleaning.
Some of the early symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Tender, swollen, or red gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Bite change
- Denture fit change
Our dentist in Encino can help you determine the level of cleaning that you need.
What can I expect from a deep cleaning for periodontitis?
The deep cleaning method that we utilize is called root planing and scaling. This involves a thorough cleaning of your teeth with an ultrasonic tool or a standard scraping tool. The cleaning encompasses above and under the gum line, and also on the root surfaces. We will also smooth your roots to help prevent tartar from sticking to the surface. In some cases, a local anesthetic is used to numb your teeth and gums so that you can stay comfortable.
We also often provide patients with ARESTIN®, an antibiotic made up of microspheres that are placed directly into the pockets below the gum line and kill bacteria that causes gum disease. The microspheres stay under the gums for days, releasing antibiotics where they are needed most. The microspheres will dissolve on their own.
Oral Care and Next Steps
You will need to maintain proper dental care after your root planning and scaling in order to stop the progression of gum disease. The main goal of regular cleaning to prevent gum disease is the prevention of plaque buildup on the surface of your teeth. Plaque is a biofilm that forms around your teeth and contains bacteria. Although plaque forms naturally, removing the buildup and disrupting the bacteria is an important part of oral care.
You can do this by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, keeping up with regular appointments for a professional cleaning, and avoiding tobacco use.
If you have a deep cleaning performed in our dental office in Encino and take the steps necessary to restore oral health at home, but still signs of periodontal disease persist, surgery may be necessary. These procedures can include pocket reduction surgery (to reduce the size of the space between the teeth and the gums), bone grafts (to replace bone that has been destroyed by gum disease), and soft tissue grafts (to reinforce areas of thin gums).
Contact our dental office today to find out how can our dentist in Encino help.