Many people assume that gum disease is merely a few innocuous symptoms, such as tender, bleeding gums. But in reality gum disease is much more serious than that. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to severe inflammation, tooth loss, and even damaged blood vessels in the heart and brain. Gum disease has been linked to severe health conditions, including stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease. The good news is that when treated in its early stages, gum disease can actually be reversed. Once full periodontitis has set in completely, it’s irreversible. However, deep cleaning treatment can stop gum disease from advancing and causing severe health complications. Here’s what you need to know.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammatory condition that affects the structures that support your teeth, including your gums and jawbone. The inflammation is your body’s response to the bacteria in the buildup of plaque around your teeth, near your gums. There are three main stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis – The early stage symptoms may include swollen and tender gums, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, but no structural damage has occured. This stage is reversible with deep cleaning.
- Periodontitis – At the middle stage, increased swelling, redness, and occur, and the gums have been irreversibly damaged. But the condition is manageable and further advancement can be prevented with deep cleaning
- Advanced Periodontitis – Gums are destroyed and the teeth are beginning to shift and loosen. This stage is treatable, but measures beyond deep cleaning may be needed.
Periodontitis is a silent disease. In many cases, people don’t know they have it until damage has been done. The best way to prevent gum disease or to catch it before it does damage is to practice proper oral hygiene at home and to attend maintenance visits with your dentist regularly.
What is deep cleaning?
Deep cleaning combines scaling and root planing procedures to clean your teeth down to the roots, reattach your gums, and close any loose pockets. The scaling procedure involves the use of handheld instruments, ultrasonic instruments, or a combination of both to pull back on the gum tissue, expose the tooth roots, and remove the tartar and plaque from the tooth surface above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing out the tooth roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth. This two-step process can completely reverse gum disease in its early stages and stop it from advancing in its later stages. Periodontal maintenance therapy is recommended for follow-up treatment at regular intervals in order to ensure that the gum disease has been reversed or prevented from advancing.
Gum disease treatment in San Diego | San Diego Periodontal and Implant Dentistry
If your gums are bleeding, swollen, or tender, it’s important to visit a dentist right away. At San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, you’re under the care of Dr. Kennie Kwok, one of San Diego’s most well-respected and sought-after periodontists. Dr. Kwok has extensive experience in treating all stages of gum disease. Whether you’re experiencing early stage symptoms or think you may need treatment for advanced periodontitis, Dr. Kwok can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at (619) 543-0905 today.