Armed with just a toothbrush, floss and an antiseptic mouthwash, you can beat back gum disease and reclaim your mouth from it. But while regular dental hygiene can lessen your need to see a dentist, the best way to fight gum disease is to get the help of a staff of dental professionals. This is especially true if the if your gum disease has progressed beyond the “mild” stage.
Find out why anything other than basic gum disease treatment is best left to a dentist and dental hygienist.
Scaling and Root Planing
Brushing and flossing can keep your teeth relatively free of plaque, a soup of bacteria and food particles that may be colorless or off yellow in appearance. After a while, that plaque will harden on your teeth, and brushing and flossing won’t be enough.
During a standard teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist will scrape the tartar away from the visible surface areas of your teeth. But when the tartar dips below the gum line, scaling and root planing, also called a “deep cleaning,” may be required.
Scaling: The dental hygienist will carefully lift the gums to methodically scrape away tartar from the root of your teeth. Do worry, you’ll be offered a local anesthetic to mute the discomfort.
Planing: With the tartar removed from the roots, the hygienist will then smooth out the surfaces of the roots so that the gums adhere to them evenly and without pockets.
Gingivectomy and Laser Gum Surgery
When the tartar buildup and gum disease become advanced, your gums will begin to recede and develop pockets of space between them and your teeth. These pockets are incubators for bacteria and can accelerate the gum disease.
To stop the spread of gum disease and to encourage the regeneration of healthy gum tissue, your dentist will perform either a traditional or laser gingivectomy.
Traditional gingivectomy: This route entails using metal hand tools to carefully trim away diseased gum tissue.
Laser gum surgery: The laser route makes use of finely tuned laser light to eradicate diseased gum tissue with unrivaled precision.
Take the Next Steps
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