Fight Gum Disease with Deep Cleaning
Periodontal care is so important because gum disease is caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Simply put, when plaque builds up in the mouth, it hardens into tartar and causes inflammation and infection of the gums.
You can only develop plaque and tartar from slacking on brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings. Many people unknowingly develop gingivitis in their lives and leave it untreated because of the mild nature of the symptoms.
However, if you were to be persistent about brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes and flossing once a day between all of the teeth, this could be enough to reverse it.
This is why regular checkups and cleanings are necessary for early detection. When you are in the early stage of gingivitis, a routine cleaning from our Colorado Springs dentist can clear it up, but once it’s developed into periodontitis, you will need more invasive treatment.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It causes mild symptoms like red, swollen, tender gums. Some minor gum recession may be noticeable as well as bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. At this point, no irreversible damage has been done to the jaw bone or soft tissues.
Once gum disease has advanced into periodontitis, you will suffer from irreversible bone loss and soft tissue damage from the severe gum infection. In addition to the symptoms you can expect from gingivitis, you will also experience severe gum recession, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and deep gum pockets. In the advanced stages, you may suffer from tooth loss.
We can diagnose gum disease by measuring the depth of your gum pockets with a probe. When your gums are infected, it can cause pockets to form in your gums, which trap bacteria, plaque, and tartar. As they become deeper, they suggest more advanced gum disease.
Healthy gums should measure less than 3mm deep. Over 3mm is indicative of gingivitis and over 4mm deep suggests periodontitis. If your gum pockets are deeper than 5mm, they will be very hard to clean and may require surgical intervention.
A deep cleaning refers to a cleaning protocol for gum disease that involves scaling and root planing. This type of cleaning is different from a routine cleaning because we remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.
In a traditional cleaning, we only perform scaling above the gum line. This ensures that your gum pockets are thoroughly cleaned and free of bacteria by scraping them out with a scaler.
Root planing involves smoothing out the tooth’s roots. This is done to encourage the reattachment of your gums to your teeth.
A deep cleaning can take a few hours to complete. This may take two dental visits to complete, as we clean one side of the mouth during each appointment.