When individuals experience gum problems of any kind, it is imperative that they visit a family dentist for a thorough cleaning and possibly treatment. Gum concerns, even mild ones, are likely indicative of gum disease, the number-one cause of tooth loss in adults. Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed in the early stages, and by the…
Seeing Your Family Dentist More Frequently After Gum Disease Treatment
A family dentist spends most of their time dealing with gum disease and tooth decay. Gum disease is an infection that is caused by bacteria and plaque getting beneath the gums. In response to the bacterial invasion, the immune system dispatches antibodies to eliminate the bacteria. A battle ensues and the result is swelling, inflammation, and damage to the structures that keep teeth in place.
How a family dentist helps with gum disease
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and it is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Improving oral hygiene often leads to the condition being reversed and gums returning to normal. When gingivitis is left untreated, it morphs into a more advanced type of gum disease known as periodontitis. This is a serious dental issue that can lead to teeth falling out. To make things worse, periodontitis has been liked to serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Treatments commonly used to treat gum disease include:
- Teeth cleanings: A dental cleaning can be recommended by a family dentist to treat the first stage of gum disease. It involves scraping tartar and plaque off teeth surfaces using a scaler and polishing teeth so it is harder for plaque to stick to them
- Scaling and root planing: This is typically used to address the advanced stage of gum disease. The first stage involves using a scaler to remove tartar and bacteria from teeth and their roots. Gum pockets with bacteria and tartar buildup are also cleaned during this process. The dentist finishes up the treatment by smoothing out tooth roots so it is harder for tartar and bacteria to build on them in the future
- Gum flap surgery: This is used for severe cases of periodontitis. It involves pulling the gums back so the dentist can clean tooth roots and gum pockets. A local anesthetic is administered before the treatment, so the patient does not feel pain. Tooth roots are polished and the dentist finishes the treatment by reattaching the gums
Life after gum disease treatments
Getting treatment for gum disease does not mean the patient no longer has to worry about it. It is possible for their gums to be re-infected due to poor oral hygiene or other issues. Regular visits to a family dentist can increase the odds of any reoccurring issue being detected in its early stages.
The dentist will examine the patient for signs of gum disease during their routine checkup and they can perform teeth cleaning, which helps to prevent plaque and tartar buildup on teeth surfaces and underneath the gums. Two visits a year to a dentist is often enough, but those who have had treatment for severe cases of periodontitis might have to see a dentist more often.
Learn more about recovering from gum disease
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