Periodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease as well as the process of replacing teeth with dental implants. Periodontists receive up to three years of additional, specialized training in treating periodontal disease and other conditions.
Periodontists are also specialists in treating oral inflammation and any condition requiring either non-surgical treatment or oral plastic surgery. Oftentimes, periodontists are treating conditions caused by periodontal disease and its effects such as persistent bad breath or gum recession.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are a more in-depth, thorough cleaning treatment recommended for patients who may be suffering from periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this type of gum infection is caused by bacteria and plaque forming on your teeth over time and causing inflammation. While serious, periodontal disease is treatable. However, it can lead to bone or tooth loss if not treated quickly.
After the scaling is complete, we will move onto root planing. The root planing technique is used to smooth out the tooth’s root and ultimately remove the pocket caused by bacteria. When the root has been effectively smoothed, the gums can be reattached and have a greater chance of fully healing.
Some patients report mild discomfort during the procedure and increased sensitivity after the treatment is complete, but with a personalized treatment plan, we can help manage any discomfort and pain. Moving forward, practicing good oral hygiene is paramount for making sure that periodontal disease doesn’t become worse after seeking initial treatment at our office.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. It is caused by plaque buildup that creates toxins that can damage the gums. Gum disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth.
While it is possible to have gum disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Bad breath
- Tooth mobility
Gum Disease: Who’s at risk?
Several factors can contribute to the development of gum disease, including:
- Poor home oral hygiene
- Poor-fitting dental restorations
- Use of tobacco in any form
While there are some risk factors you cannot change, such as genetics or medical conditions, it is possible to keep gum disease under control with proper care.
Treating Gum Disease
During each regular checkup, Dr. Lee and our hygiene team will check for signs of gum disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums. If gum disease is present, the first step is scaling and root planing. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
If the gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, it is not reversible. The damage to bone and tissue can’t be fixed, but we can stop it and help prevent it from getting worse. More frequent cleanings called periodontal maintenance are done to help gum heal and keep bacteria out until healing is done.
Preventing Gum Disease
The easiest way to prevent gum disease is to practice excellent home hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once per day. It’s also important to visit our Sumter dental office every six months for professional cleanings and preventive exams.