What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when infection develops in the gums. It begins as gingivitis, an inflammation of the gingival tissue. If gingivitis is not treated, it can develop into more severe gum disease, referred to as periodontitis. It can lead to tooth loss, as well as systemic problems, since the infection in the mouth can spread to other areas of the body. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, for example.
In early stages, gum disease can be treated with topical treatments such as baking soda toothpastes or special rinses. As it progresses, though, infection can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. In addition, tartar can develop on the tooth roots. In these cases, planing and scaling might be necessary to bring your gum disease under control.
How Planing and Scaling Works
Planing and scaling is essentially an intensive cleaning technique that removes tartar and plaque from the teeth below the gum line, down to the tooth roots. Your periodontist uses a special tool to scrape the surfaces clean. In most cases, your dentist will use an anesthetic during the procedure.
After the procedure, your dentist might place antibiotic fibers in the pockets between your gums and teeth to prevent additional infection. Your lips and mouth will remain numb for a few hours if you have been treated with an anesthetic. The antibiotic fibers will be removed after about a week.
For more information about how we can treat your gum disease, please contact the office of Dr. Benjamin Duval for an appointment or a consultation.