Gum disease, also commonly known as periodontal disease, starts when plaque builds up under and along your gumline. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on people’s teeth. It usually causes infections that harm the gum and bone. This leads to gum disease as well as tooth decay.If left untreated, gum disease can cause the…
How a Dentist Treats Gum Infection as Part of Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease is a condition that affects the gum and the bone tissues supporting the teeth. The gum infection that causes the condition starts from the accumulation of plaque, a sticky bacteria film. When plaque is not cleaned off the teeth, it hardens into tartar, which could cause a gum infection. If a gum infection goes untreated, the result is often periodontal disease.
Treating a gum infection
Periodontal disease is common and tends to go undiagnosed in many people. It is not just the leading cause of tooth loss, but it could also be linked to other conditions like stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Without treatment, gum inflammation can extend to areas below the gum line. Plaque contains acid or toxins that cause gum irritation, triggering a chronic inflammatory response that can cause further deterioration of the bone and soft tissue.
Since a gum infection is often symptomless, it might take a visit to the dentist to detect the condition. Obvious symptoms are bleeding and deep pockets between the gums and teeth, signaling the damages being done to the soft tissues and bone. The following are potential periodontal disease treatments that can be used for a gum infection:
Professional teeth cleaning
This process involves removing the plaque and tartar accumulation on the tooth's surface. Tartar is hardened plaque deposits on the teeth, which is responsible for gum infection. Plaque can be removed with regular brushing, but once they have hardened, only a professional cleaning can get the job done. The dentist will remove all traces of plaque and tartar from along and below the gum line. The procedure is typically done during a routine dental checkup, but for patients with a case of periodontal disease, the dentist might recommend more regular cleaning.
Scaling and root planing
Also called deep cleaning, scaling is a nonsurgical treatment for a gum infection that is performed under local anesthesia. It involves scraping away tartar or hardened plaque deposits from around the teeth and gums using dental tools. Planing is done to smoothen rough areas around the tooth root and it removes bacteria that may have accumulated in those areas. Smoothing those rough spots encourages reattachment of the gums as part of the periodontal disease treatment.
The dentist can control gum tissue inflammation that accompanies a gum infection with antibiotics like minocycline or chlorhexidine. The product is placed in the periodontal pocket between the gums and the teeth to fight bacteria.
If the bone and gum tissues have been damaged due to the gum infection, the dentist can promote active tissue regrowth with grafting procedures. The procedure often entails taking tissues or bone fragments from other areas of the oral cavity like the mouth roof and inserting it between the gum and bone tissues. The graft allows the bone and connective tissues to regenerate.
When root planing and scaling are not enough for gum reattachment, the dentist may perform a pocket reduction procedure as part of periodontal disease treatment to diminish the pocket size between the gums and the teeth.
Stopping a gum infection is necessary for periodontal disease treatment. If there are noticeable signs of gum disease, book an appointment with a dentist right away.
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