One of the reasons regular dental visits are so important is that they allow your dentist to screen for signs of gum disease. Early detection can help our hygienists and Dr. Robert Seaman design the right treatment plan to reverse the effects of gum disease before they cause irreparable damage to your mouth.
Gum disease is caused by the toxins released by plaque. This occurs when plaque continually accumulates at and below the gum line. These toxins eat away at the supportive tissues which hold your teeth in place, destroying the surrounding bone and, in some cases, causing decay on the root surfaces of your teeth. The main cause of gum disease is the infrequency in regular dental cleanings combined with the impossibility of being able to remove all plaque from all surfaces of your teeth and gums every single time you brush and floss. This is why regular dental cleanings are so important—they are the only way to fully remove all the plaque and calculus (tartar or hardened plaque) from your teeth.
If we are able to catch the condition before it is too advanced, there is a chance gum disease can be handled with a treatment called scaling and root planing. This procedure is a deep cleaning and smoothing of the tooth surfaces below the gum line. Patients are numbed for the procedure and usually have the treatment done one half of the mouth at a time, as it is a lengthy procedure. Once done, the tissues can begin firming up and reconnecting to the tooth to lessen the depth of the pockets around the tooth, which were created by the destruction of this disease. During this healing process, patients return every 3 months for cleanings to ensure that these areas are kept clean. Depending on your condition, home care, and other factors, some patients are able to go back to 6-month schedule after a year of more frequent cleaning visits. Some patients may remain on a 3-month cleaning schedule, especially if the disease was more advanced when initially treated. The greater amount of bone loss, the less likely the bone and tissues will ever get to a depth that is manageable without frequent cleanings.
Scaling & Root Planing
If your condition is already in the advanced stages or continues to worsen after scaling and root planing, you will be referred to a periodontist (a specialist in surgical treatments for gum disease). There are surgical procedures which you may be able to receive that can help save your teeth and make your condition more manageable.
We will provide you with all the pertinent information about your condition, the treatments needed, and the home care changes you can implement to help ensure you keep your mouth in a healthy condition. You can learn more about gum disease in Lenexa, Kansas, by scheduling a visit with our dentist today.
Oral Hygiene Instructions