Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. And some studies connect it to serious health conditions like diabetes, ulcers, and stroke.Dr. McCabe on Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment Read Transcript
I like to describe the importance of periodontal therapy and health in terms of an analogy with houses. If you think of your mouth as a house, the gum and the bones are like the foundation. It's really important to the health of your mouth and your body overall to have a good foundation there. We diagnose periodontal disease based on probing depths that we take in a comprehensive evaluation. Nonsurgical periodontal therapy means we go in below the gums, make sure you're nice and comfortable to get out all that bacteria and junk that has built up underneath there that's causing the inflammation and infection that could lead to bone loss. Treating periodontal disease is very important because your mouth is the gateway to the entire body. Bacteria from the oral environment can be spread throughout the body. Recently we found in a lot of studies oral bacteria in arterial plaques contributing to heart disease and plaques found in the brain after a stroke. This is why we think it's really important to not only diagnose but treat and maintain your periodontal health.
So our three doctors conduct a screening every time they do a dental exam at our Highlands Ranch, CO dentist office. If they find signs of gum disease, they treat it aggressively. They can eliminate it with a dental cleaning in its early stages. For more advanced cases, we do a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing.
To see a dentist who takes gum disease seriously, call Highlands Ranch Smiles at 720-644-8186.
Different Stages of Gum Disease
If bacteria in your mouth infects your gums, you get gum disease. The infection gets under your gumline, where more bacteria collects. Your body begins breaking down the tissue and bone surrounding your teeth as it tries to fight off the infection.
Tender, inflamed gums are a primary symptom in the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis. In the later stage of the disease, it starts destroying not just tissue but bone.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling is a deep clean of your teeth and their roots, both above and below your gumline. Then, in a process called root planing, we smooth away rough areas from your tooth roots to prevent bacteria from collecting. We’ll also apply an antibacterial agent under your gums, if necessary, and use a laser to help us painlessly eliminate bacteria.
To ensure you feel no dental anxiety, we may numb the area with anesthesia. If so, we use a tool called The Wand® that helps us more accurately administer anesthesia and reduce residual numbness.
To help prevent reoccurrence, we can prescribe a special mouth rinse or customized trays filled with a medicated solution you can use at home. For really tough cases of gum disease, we’ll refer you to a periodontist.