When gum disease first starts, you most likely might not even notice that you have it. Plaque and bacteria that have accumulated on your teeth lead to gum irritation and inflammation. You may notice some redness and swelling, as well as bleeding when you brush and floss, or you might never see these symptoms. When this early stage goes untreated, swollen gums start to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets, where they begin attacking your gums from the inside as well as the ligaments and bone that support your teeth. The longer gum disease goes untreated, the worse it becomes, leading to gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be treated. OHIOSmiles can help.
A prophylaxis is a type of cleaning that you receive during your routine dental cleanings. The process involves ultrasonic vibrations on the surfaces of your teeth. We also clean along the gumline as well as just below it. These types of cleanings are done to eliminate plaque and bacteria as well as tartar, or hardened plaque that cannot be removed with regular brushing, and other debris. One or two prophylaxis cleanings may be recommended in the earliest stage of gum disease more commonly known as gingivitis.
Scaling And Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning of your teeth. Scaling is the cleaning of the visible surfaces of your teeth. Using a scaler, we eliminate all buildup from the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, with special attention given to the gumline and just below it. Root planing is the cleaning of your tooth roots. By eliminating plaque and bacteria, the surfaces are smoothed, preventing new bacteria from adhering.
An antibiotic rinse is often used after scaling and root planing. This is done to help get rid of any bacteria that might still be lurking below the gumline. In some cases, an oral antibiotic or antibiotic mouthwash may be recommended. Antibiotics are not used as a standalone treatment, but they can be quite effective when used in conjunction with other treatments and improved oral hygiene practices.
Bacteria below the gumline can also affect the health of your jawbone. The bacteria attack the bone, causing a loss of bone mass. Bone loss around the roots of the teeth is often referred to as bony defects. These defects provide hiding places for bacteria. Osseous surgery is performed to not only clean all surfaces of your teeth and the surrounding bone but also to smooth the bony defects. By smoothing the bone, we eliminate hiding places for bacteria. After the surgery is complete, your gums can begin reattaching to the bone and the teeth, restoring your oral health.
Treating gum disease is essential for stopping the progression of the condition in its tracks and restoring the health of your mouth. Call OHIOSmiles at (740) 439-2501 today to schedule your appointment.