We all know that letting plaque buildup on our teeth isn’t a good idea, but what happens when it gets to the point that brushing can’t solve? When plaque and tartar are allowed to collect for long periods of time, they can harbor dangerous bacteria which can inflame your gums and cause irritation, redness, swelling, and pain. If allowed to continue long enough without proper treatment, this irritation can develop into gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a degenerative disease that can, if not caught and treated soon enough, cause significant tooth and gum deterioration and progress to full-blown periodontitis. It’s a painful condition that can have long-lasting effects on your physical and mental health.
Symptoms of gingivitis include
- Swollen, puffy, bleeding, or receding gums
- A change in gum color from pink to dusky or dark red
- Bad breath
Thankfully, the reality is that the treatment of gingivitis is simple and performed right in your dentist’s office.
Gingivitis is treated by having a dental hygienist scale and polish your teeth. Scaling is a kind of deep-cleaning procedure. During this procedure, your hygienist will use a manual or an ultrasonic tool to carefully scrape away any hard plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth. This includes below the gumline and clearing out any pockets that have formed in the gums.
If the condition is severe enough, your dentist may opt to do root planing as well. Root planing uses the same tool as scaling; your dentist or dental hygienist will carefully smooth out the tooth roots in order to promote proper reattachment to your teeth. Your mouth will then be cleaned. Your dentist may recommend a particular dental hygiene routine during the healing process, including the use of antimicrobial agents or a prescription for oral antibiotics, to help you recover faster.
Scaling and root planing are usually broken down into one section of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time and reduces the time for each appointment.
As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and planing are usually performed without any anesthesia in your dentist’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, more advanced stages of gingivitis may cause your gums to be extremely sensitive and make it necessary to numb the area with a local anesthetic for complete comfort.
Are you experiencing symptoms of gum disease? Don’t wait. Call our office today to schedule your appointment and regain the comfortable and healthy use of your teeth. Pearly Smile Dental Studio is always happy to accept new patients and to help you feel confident in not just your oral healthcare but your smile as well.