Gum Disease is a common but serious condition that can affect not only a patient’s oral health, but your overall health as well. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bone that surrounds the tooth and will progressively destroy those tissues if left untreated. Often, the disease is painless and patients are not aware that they even have periodontal disease. Early gum disease, known as gingivitis, is an early and completely reversible condition. Gingivitis is associated with inflammation but irreversible bone loss has not occurred yet.

As time goes on, if left untreated, the inflammation associated with gingivitis causes the gum tissue to move closer and closer to the bone, and the body responds by resorbing (dissolving) the bone around the tooth. This resorbing of the bone is often not reversible and can lead to swollen and bleeding gums, bad breath, tooth mobility and even tooth loss. Research shows a strong connection between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke and respiratory diseases. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene and reducing the progression of periodontal disease through treatment will have benefits well beyond preventing gum disease and bone loss.

At Beckett Dental Care, we will create a treatment plan designed to halt the progression of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal therapy consists of a series of customized appointments to help patients with gum disease improve and maintain the health of the supporting structures of the teeth. At Beckett Dental Care, we emphasize the importance of taking preventative measures to maintain the structural health of your teeth and gums in order to prevent periodontal (gum) disease.

Scaling and Root Planing

Some cases of periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment may require a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planning. Scaling and Root Planing begins with administration of a local anesthetic. Then our dental hygienist will use ultrasonic cleaners and small dental instruments called scalers to clean beneath your gum line to remove tartar. This tartar located below the gumline cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush and floss.

Preventing periodontal disease

The best way to prevent periodontal (gum) disease and cavities is by daily tooth brushing and flossing and having regular professional exams and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home care, some patients can still develop gum disease. gum disease is a multifactorial condition. Other factors that can affect the health of your gum and bone include stress, clenching and grinding of teeth, some medications, poor diet, genetics and tobacco usage.