Treatment for Gum Disease
Gum disease begins when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and turns into a hardened substance called tartar. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that adheres to the teeth. Proper flossing and brushing remove most of it, but it can accumulate in areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Poor oral hygiene also allows plaque to build up and turn into tartar.
Treatment for gum disease begins with removal of the tartar accumulation. This must be done with special dental instruments designed to remove the hardened substance from the teeth. Hand instruments may be used to remove some of the tartar, or ultrasonic scalers may be used.
Ultrasonic scalers shatter the tartar by causing rapid vibrations to loosen the substance from the tooth. While the vibrations do not affect the tooth at all, tartar is removed from the teeth by the energy emitted from the vibrations of the scaler. Water is simultaneously sprayed on the teeth to keep them cool, as the process does create heat.
After the tartar is removed, the roots of the teeth are smoothed down using dental instruments called planers. Similar to the manner in which wood is planed to create a smooth level surface, the tooth roots are planed to create a smooth surface on which the gums can reattach.
Symptoms and Causes of Gum Disease
When tartar begins to collect around the teeth, it pushes the gums away. This creates periodontal pockets where bacteria can build up and infect the gums. When gums become pink and puffy, gum disease is most likely present. When they become bright red and swollen, they are probably infected. They may bleed from time to time as well.
Gum disease can be caused by lack of proper oral care. This is not the only cause, however. Women and girls are more susceptible to gum disease during fluctuations in their hormones. There are a wide variety of prescription medications that can weaken the body’s defenses, leaving the gums vulnerable to disease. Some people have a genetic makeup that predisposes them to gum disease. Whatever the cause may be, your best plan of attack begins with a trip to the hygienist for a thorough cleaning of your teeth and an assessment of the extent of the disease. Contact Blue Sky Dental Group today to schedule an appointment.