While gingivitis is easily reversed with a thorough cleaning at your dentist's office and continued proper oral hygiene at home, periodontitis is not. It requires special intervention, and the use of special tools.
A probe is used to measure periodontal pockets. Pockets form as bacteria fall below the gum line and reproduce. The deeper the pockets, the worse the condition. Any measurement under 3 millimeters is considered healthy. If your pockets measure 4 millimeters or more, it is an indication that the tissue has detached from the tooth and bone loss may have begun.
Digital x-rays are helpful in determining many things, particularly what is going on under the gums. Your dentist will be able to see if there are any infections and how much, if any, bone loss has occurred. These factors will be able to help determine the best treatment plan.
Scaling and root planing is often the plan of action for getting rid of plaque and tartar buildup and helping your gums to begin to heal. This process involves removing plaque and tartar, as well as bacteria and other debris from the teeth, both above and below the gum line.
The roots of your teeth are also smoothed to prevent new buildup. In many cases, an ultrasonic scaling tool is used to do this. It is more accurate and less painful than the traditional manual method using a metal tool. Many ultrasonic scalers also come equipped with a nozzle that delivers an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help kill any linger bacteria.
Scaling and root planing used to be a painful procedure. But with the use of lasers, along with ultrasonic scalers, pain is being greatly reduced. The use of a laser for periodontal cleanings allows your dentist to remove inflamed and infected gum tissue, providing better access to clean the teeth.
Lasers are more accurate, and there is also less bleeding (they cauterize as they cut), as well as less pain and swelling. Recovery is lessened as well, allowing you to heal faster.
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Gum disease treatment is essential to stopping the problem in its tracks and allowing you to heal. Contact our office at (410) 260-0790 to learn more about the tools used to treat your gum disease and how they work.