Deep Cleaning Your Gums with Scaling and Root Planing in Irvine
You have seen commercials and posters announcing the problem with gum disease your whole life. Maybe you took them seriously and cared for your teeth and gums with the utmost care, or maybe you didn’t mind the warnings. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, which makes it vital that you work with your dentist, Dr. Ursula Levine, and her team of compassionate professionals to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If there is evidence of gum disease, scaling and root planing in Irvine is one of the treatment solutions that can help to restore good health to your mouth.
What is gum disease?
Plaque is constantly forming on our teeth, regardless of our diet or brushing habits. Brushing and maintaining a good at-home oral health routine can help to manage plaque.
When plaque is not sufficiently removed, the bacteria that makes up plaque can cause inflammation in the gums. This will ultimately lead to your gums receding from your teeth and forming pockets in which plaque and other bacteria will get trapped. These pockets lead to subgingival calculus accumulation, which is large amounts of plaque collecting below the surface of the gums. The plaque below the surface degrades at the bone and causes the structure of the tooth to weaken and ultimately can lead to tooth loss and bone loss within the jaw.
Gum disease is a cumulative disease. It starts as gingivitis, builds to periodontitis, and then becomes advanced periodontitis. At each stage, the condition of the gums and teeth becomes progressively worse.
A routine dental cleaning will not sufficiently remove the excessive buildup of plaque and treat the problem. This is where scaling and root planing becomes the next best treatment step.
What happens during scaling and root planing?
Prior to starting, Dr. Levine will numb your gums so that you feel little to no discomfort during the procedure. During the treatment Dr. Levine will remove all of the accumulated plaque and tartar that is found both above and below your gum line using a handheld scaler. The pockets where bacteria have accumulated will be thoroughly cleaned. Once these pockets have been irrigated and sterilized, the root surface will be smoothed. This will help to ensure that your gums reattach to your teeth. This will, in turn, ensure that bacteria and food particles are much less likely to get trapped and lead to further infection.
Antibiotics and a prescription mouthwash may be prescribed so that you can avoid a larger infection after your scaling and root planing in Irvine. You may have a bit of tenderness in your gums for a day or two, but it can be easily alleviated with over the counter pain medications.
You may require multiple treatments if the gum disease is quite progressive. Dr. Levine will explain your treatment plan so that you know what to expect. Managing the care of your teeth after root scaling and planing includes more frequent visits to ensure further decay and bone loss doesn’t occur. It is important to schedule and maintain routine visits with Dr. Levine and to be vigilant about home care in order to keep a healthy smile.
What happens if I don’t treat gum disease?
If gum disease is not treated, you could face a larger infection that ultimately leads to the loss of one or more teeth. Common gingivitis can lead to periodontitis and advanced periodontitis if left untreated. Beyond that, there have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the long-term health impact of inflammation that spreads to other parts of the body, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Treating gum disease when it is first detected can go a long way toward ensuring that you have a healthy mouth with healthy teeth. Dr. Levine can help with diagnosing gum disease and offer you solutions that will work best for your unique situation.
Do you have inflammation in your gums? Perhaps you’re experiencing a toothache? It might be the right time to make an appointment with Dr. Levine to see if you are in need of scaling and root planing in Irvine. Call the office at (949) 727-9600 or complete the online form.