Your gums play a significant role in maintaining your overall oral health. They not only hold the teeth in place, but they also affect your smile’s appearance. If not well-cared-for, gums can become weak and infected, eventually pulling away from the teeth.
Our skilled team is dedicated to helping you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. From routine maintenance to cosmetic enhancements to reconstructive services, we are here to keep your gums in excellent shape.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontitis, or gum disease, is an infection in the gums that can lead to various health problems. These infections usually begin after bacteria find a way between the teeth and surface of the gums. This issue is especially present among people who have an excessive build-up of plaque and tartar along the gum line. Over time these substances harden and make it difficult to brush and floss effectively. Eventually, bacteria and food debris can become lodged in the plaque and tartar and spread into the soft gum tissues.
In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is one of the most wide-spread dental illnesses among Americans. If caught early, we can generally treat gingivitis with simple deep cleaning techniques. If gingivitis is left untreated, it may eventually progress into periodontitis. In this stage, pockets of bacteria develop beneath the gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth. Periodontitis is often painful, and if ignored can lead to tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Many Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Those who regularly consume tobacco and alcohol, who are pregnant, and who have a family history of gum disease are at higher risk than others. If you feel that you are at risk of developing gum disease, or if you notice any of the following symptoms, please call our office right away to schedule an appointment.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Receding gum line
- Tender, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth
- Change in bite
- Chronic bad breath
- Sores in the mouth that do not go away after a few weeks
What Are the Differences Between Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing are two techniques we use when treating gum disease. Scaling involves carefully removing plaque and tartar from a patient’s enamel and gum line. Your hygienist will do this during your routine cleaning. In its early stages, we can use this simple treatment to address gum disease.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing will be recommended. It is usually done in segments under local anesthetic. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and shrink pockets. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, Dr. Semans may recommend that you see a periodontist.
If you would like to learn more about periodontal maintenance and gum disease, please call our office today at (330) 867-4461, send us an email, or schedule an appointment online.