According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 50% of the US adult population has some form of gum disease, a bacterial infection that damages not just the gums, but the bone that supports the teeth. Early symptoms include red, swollen, and sensitive gums that bleed often. If any of this sounds familiar, be sure to contact Creating Smiles, PC right away for treatment. We can stop the infection in its tracks with periodontal therapy in Valparaiso, IN because, otherwise, it can lead to tooth loss!
If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on the teeth below the gum line, this can expose the nearby tissues to bacteria, leading to inflammation. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and many people don’t even notice when they have it. Without treatment, this will progress into periodontitis, which is when the bacteria begins to break down the bone that holds the teeth in place. This can lead to loose teeth and even tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease is relatively easy to treat early on, which is why we always encourage patients to come see us if they notice the smallest issue with their gums.
Scaling and root planing is a type of dental cleaning specifically designed to remove the root cause of gum disease—the accumulation of plaque and tartar near the gum line. Once these substances have been cleared away (scaling), the roots of the teeth will be slightly reshaped and smoothed out (root planing). This will make it less likely that plaque will gather near the gums in the future, decreasing the risk of reinfection.
Gum disease bacteria primarily likes to hide in the small spaces between the teeth and gums, called pockets, which are extremely difficult to clean with scaling alone. For these areas, we can use a topical antibiotic that dries after it has been applied to the gums and slowly dissolves over the next few days. This allows the medicine to reach even the deepest part of the pockets and eliminate any leftover bacteria, plus it can help reduce the size of these pockets as well.