Poor dental hygiene is usually characterized by failure to brush your teeth twice a day or get routine teeth cleanings with your dentist, making the dental plaque formed between your teeth not be removed completely. Over time, the plaque hardens into tartar, and bacteria to the gums eventually leading to early gum disease, or gingivitis and then eventually periodontitis.
Other common causes and risk factors for the development of periodontitis include: Smoking, poor nutrition, family history, aging, changes in hormones and other medical conditions
Gum disease develops and when bacterial plaque and tartar accumulate around and under the gums. This swelling is also known as periodontitis. It could affect both your teeth and supporting bone in the mouth and may ultimately result to loss of teeth. Symptoms of periodontitis can range from mild to extreme including:
- Red and swollen gums
- Inflammation below or around the gums
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Sudden teeth misalignment or an incorrect bite
- Gums that bleed on probing (such as flossing)
- Loose teeth or gums that pull away from the teeth
- Bad breath, even after brushing
Scaling and root planning are a string of dental procedures known as deep cleaning, and is recommended so as to prevent the formation and accumulation of bacterial plaque and tartar around and under the gums. Both procedures are important parts of maintaining a good oral and dental health. Scaling is the clearing away of the tartar and plaque on the surface of the teeth above the gum line while Root planing is the process in which any area of the tooth root that is infected by bacteria is cleaned. Thus, the treatment for periodontitis involves the removal of plaque and tartar and subsequent smoothening of the root of the tooth where it sits beneath the gum line.
This process works in two phases: Scaling is the first step in this process, involving a curette, or a scraping tool, to remove plaque stacked above and below the gumline and all the way to the bottom of the pocket. Afterwards, root planing is performed to smoothen out the teeth roots, which is what helps the gums reattach themselves to your teeth.
Local anesthesia is typically administered to keep your comfortable while your teeth are deep cleaned, although a scaling and root planing treatment is considered non-surgical. Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, you might have more than one scaling and root planing treatment to clean your gums of all infections. However, once completed, your gums and teeth will often be sore for the next few days, and can remain sensitive up to a week after the procedure.
You can prevent periodontal disease as It is essential to follow through with regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations as gum disease can develop suddenly and without warning. Hence, a good home care routine is vital in preventing gum disease from developing.
Brush with a soft toothbrush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and replacing your toothbrush at least once in 3 months or when the bristles are worn.
Floss daily to clean between your teeth and bridgework, crowns, or implants.
Use an antimicrobial mouthwash.
Eat a balanced diet and try to avoid smoking.