Gingivitis & Gum Disease Treatments
During your visits, the team at Dr. Kevin S. Bone, D.D.S., conducts routine periodontal exams to check the health of your gum and teeth. These exams also reveal receding gums, exposed roots, tooth grinding, and other problems, making periodontal exams vital to maintaining proper oral health.
What We Look for During a Periodontal Exam
- Lumps or abnormalities in your mouth
- Loose or missing teeth
- The color, texture, size, and shape of your gums
- Fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures or implants
- How much plaque is on your teeth
- The depth of the space between your tooth and gum
What is Gingivitis or Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease, or periodontal disease. In general, gum disease can be caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky but colorless film on teeth that forms after eating or sleeping.
Gum disease originates in the gums, where infections form from harmful bacteria and other materials left behind from eating. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed. Untreated gingivitis can lead to more serious problems such as abscesses, bone loss or periodontitis.
Although gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, in many cases it is avoidable with good oral hygiene.
Scaling & Root Planing
Some cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care such as flossing. Instead, we may suggest a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.
The procedure begins with the administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Then, a small instrument called a scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner is used to clean beneath your gum line to remove plaque and tartar.
The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed. If effective, scaling and root planing helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure. Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing.