What is Periodontitis, and What Special Cleanings are Needed to Manage It?
Most of us are familiar with a regular dental hygiene appointment: within about 30 minutes, a caring dental hygienist cleans, polishes, and restores your teeth to their natural health and beauty.
One type of cleaning that may be suggested by your dentist is a periodontal cleaning. This procedure requires different methods than just a regular cleaning. But before we get get into what a periodontal cleaning entails, we must answer this question first: what exactly is periodontitis?
According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontitis (also known as periodontal disease or gum disease), is “an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on the teeth and harden. In advanced stages, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums; painful chewing problems; and even tooth loss.”
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please call our office today to see one of our doctors immediately:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
Now that we know what periodontitis is, how do we fix it? That’s where the gentle dentists at Gaston Dental Associates come in. There are two very common non-surgical methods to treat periodontal disease: dental scaling and root planing. Let’s learn more about each.
Dental scaling is when the dentist uses a special tool to clean below the gum line of the tooth, removing plaque and built-up tarter (hardened plaque) that can cause bad bacteria to inflame and infect your gums.
In addition to dental scaling, you may also receive root planing therapy during your periodontal cleaning. Root planing is when a special tool is used to go beneath the gum line to smoothen the tooth’s roots. This in turn allows the gums to reattach to the tooth in a healthy manner.
*Information provided by NIH National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research and Oral-B.