What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a progressive bacterial infection that can lead to damaged gum tissue, bone deterioration, and loss of teeth. This disease begins with bleeding and inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria that develops into plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. As gums pull away due to this infection, periodontal pockets form around the teeth, leading to shifting or loosening of the teeth as the bone and gums become damaged. Dr. Bang Phan has been practicing dentistry for nearly two decades and is experienced in treating all stages of gum disease. With his professional treatment, gum disease can be effectively managed and the health of your smile restored.
65 million Americans have some form of gum disease.
75% of American adults over age 35 have gum disease.
The Goal of Gum Disease Treatment
The goal of gum disease treatment is to rid the mouth of infection, decrease periodontal pocket depth, and repair damage to the gums and bone. Removing the plaque and tartar from the teeth enables the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth roots, lessening the depths of the pockets. Depending on the state of your gum disease, treatment can involve a non-surgical “deep cleaning” or may also need more complex osseous surgery. After any treatment, we oftentimes recommend you undergo routine periodontal maintenance to ensure the continued health of your gums and teeth.
Scaling and Root Planing
Non-surgical scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line. One of the first defenses against gum disease, this treatment removes the plaque and tartar buildup that causes gum inflammation. Scaling involves removing the tartar off the surface of the teeth. Root planing involves smoothing the tooth surface to help the gum tissue attach to the tooth roots.
Osseous surgery is recommended for more advanced stages of gum disease. Gums are folded back to expose the tooth roots and bone. With this exposure, teeth can be thoroughly cleaned and the damaged bone reshaped and smoothed. After the gum tissue is sutured and allowed to heal, pocket depth is reduced with the new healthy attachment of the gum tissue to the tooth roots.
After gum disease treatment, it is important that routine deeper cleanings continue to keep the disease from returning. This periodontal maintenance occurs every 3 to 4 months and removes the plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth above and below the gum line, and smooths rough areas of the teeth. These routine appointments also include monitoring of periodontal pocket depth.
The Benefits of Gum Disease Treatment
- Improves the appearance of the smile
- Eliminates disease and infection
- Reduces risk for future gum infection
- Restores oral health and function
- Reduces risk for tooth loss
- Prevents jaw bone loss