Learning that you have gum disease can be unsettling; you brush, floss, and watch your diet and wonder where it went wrong.
But your dentist in Durham, NC is not as concerned with what went wrong as they are with resolving the problem now to protect your oral health. Your customized gum disease treatment will get the infection under control and help us prevent it from worsening.
How Did I Develop Gum Disease?
Brushing twice a day and flossing once are essential for preventing a buildup of bacteria-filled plaque on your teeth. But even if you practice excellent dental hygiene in Durham, NC, you are at higher risk for gum disease if you smoke, are pregnant, take certain prescription medications, or have a family history.
Gingivitis Treatment – The First Stage of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and is typically easy to treat. Your hygienist will perform a comprehensive dental cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from all surfaces of your teeth. If he or she notices evidence of poor oral hygiene, they will demonstrate how to brush and floss properly.
Periodontitis – Advanced Gum Disease
If gingivitis is not treated right away, it advances to periodontitis. The gums start pulling away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. Teeth start to loosen as the infection continues to affect the structures that hold your teeth in place.
Periodontal Deep Cleaning
As you might guess, treatment for periodontitis is more involved than it is for gingivitis. The procedure is called scaling and root planing (SRP) and is also referred to as deep cleaning. The goal is to help shrink periodontal pockets and involves two steps.
- Scaling involves gently scraping away the buildup of plaque and tartar from your teeth.
- Root planing concentrates on smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth to eliminate spots where bacteria can collect.
Your hygienist will schedule follow up appointments to monitor the size of the periodontal pockets and keep gum disease under control. In some cases, this may require cleanings as often as three or four times a year.
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning with Us
Staying current with dental cleanings at our Durham, NC dental office is your best defense against developing gum disease in the first place. If it’s time to schedule your hygiene appointment, please call The Smile Shop to get started.