Why do I need a gum evaluation?
Properly caring for your gums is very important to your oral health. In fact, having healthy gums is just as important as having good teeth. After all, your gums is what supports your teeth and keeps them in place. Unhealthy gums are categorized as gum disease known as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gum disease can occur in adults at any age and any time. If left untreated, gum disease causes your teeth to become sensitive, loose and eventually leads to tooth loss.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Noticeable signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, bad breath and tooth sensitivity. In its more advanced stages, gum disease causes infection, tooth separation and loss of multiple teeth. Furthermore, gum disease has been linked to heart conditions and other serious medical issues. The bacteria can spread from your infected gums through the bloodstream and on to the rest of your body, compromising your overall health.
How do you treat gum disease?
To properly diagnose and treat gum disease, we must first determine the stage of your gum disease. We start by examining your X-rays to look for signs of bone loss, tartar buildup and other gum problems. Then we perform a visual exam to look for areas of redness, inflammation and gum recession. Finally, we conduct a thorough periodontal gum evaluation to measure periodontal pockets, access bleeding levels and check for tooth mobility. After completing your full periodontal gum examination we can determine what stage of gum disease you have. This helps us determine the type of a cleaning you require and how frequently you should have your teeth cleaned.
What type of dental cleaning will I need?
The type of dental cleaning you need depends on whether you have gum disease or not. This is why a periodontal gum evaluation is needed to determine the type of cleaning that is right for you. We offer regular cleanings, full mouth debridement and deep cleanings, which are as follows:
- Regular Dental Cleaning: In the absence of gum disease, you will receive a simple cleaning and polish. Typically, patients with no gum disease require a dental cleaning every 6 months.
- Full Mouth Debridement (FMD): If you suffer from ginigivitis but no periodontits, treatment typically involves a more comprehensive cleaning known as full mouth debridement (FMD). This involves light scaling of your teeth roots to remove tartar and offending bacteria. Occasionally, we prescribe additional antibiotics, oral rinse or other adjunct treatments to better eliminate the bacteria from your gums.
- Deep Cleaning: If you suffer from periodontitis, the most advanced case of gum disease, then you will require a deep cleaning. Only a deep cleaning can remove heavy tartar and calculus build-ups from underneath your gumlines.
What exactly is a deep cleaning?
A deep cleaning, or scaling and root planning, is a rigorous dental cleaning which requires scaling of your teeth along with planning of your roots. The objective of a deep cleaning is to remove tartar from your teeth to bring your gums back to a healthy, happy state. We will perform a periodontal gum evaluation to see if a deep cleaning is right for you.
To perform deep cleanings, we use both a cavitron and hand instruments. Most deep cleanings are completed during several visits where we focus on cleaning a portion at a time. Additionally, most deep cleanings are performed while under anesthesia.
Following your deep cleaning , we typically recommend a follow-up maintenance appointment within 3 to 4 months. During your follow-up we will re-access your gums to see if they have improved. Depending on how things look on your follow-up, we will determine if your periodontitis is under control or not. If your gum disease is still not resolved, then more advanced treatment such as gum surgery or laser debridement may be indicated.
To learn more about dental cleanings and gum disease, give us a call to schedule your appointment today. We will examine your teeth and gums to determine the cleaning that is right for your needs. By following our cleaning protocol, we will help you keep your gums healthy and happy for years to come!