The Difference between Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

The Difference between Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

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Everyone should visit the dentist for preventive care. Regular visits for exams and professional cleanings keep your teeth healthy and allow your doctor to identify potential cavities or infections before they cause damage. You may have heard about scaling and root planing. Does everyone need this treatment as well? While scaling and root planing procedures are referred to as deep cleanings, they are generally only performed when periodontal infection is present.

When Is Scaling and Root Planing Recommended?
Your periodontist will recommend scaling and root planing to treat periodontal disease in its early stages. Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria that live in the mouth. When these bacteria are not cleared away with daily brushing and flossing, they flourish and infect the gum tissue. Inflammation and bleeding gums are the first signs of gum disease in Houston, TX.

Scaling and Root Planing vs. Routine Cleanings
In a routine cleaning, the hygienist will scale your teeth to remove plaque and then polish the surfaces for a smoother, brighter smile. The process stops at the gum line. When you have gum disease, however, the gum tissue no longer fits tightly around the gum line. Pockets form around the teeth, leaving gaps between the teeth and gums where bacteria can cause greater damage to the supportive bone and connective tissue. Therefore, scaling and root planing is a deeper treatment focused upon removing bacteria and smoothing the tooth roots below the gum line. Depending upon the extent of the infection, your periodontist may recommend a topical anesthetic or injection to numb the treatment site.

Scaling and root planing is a minimally invasive method of treating gum disease in Houston, TX, and can prevent the need for gum surgery. If you are experiencing the symptoms of periodontal disease, such as tender or bleeding gums, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. J. Robert Friedberg. We offer the highest quality care and advanced treatments for periodontal infection, including laser gum disease treatment.

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