Gum therapy, also known as deep cleaning or scaling and root planing (SRP), is a non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. It involves removing plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line, as well as smoothing the root surfaces to help the gums reattach to the teeth. This treatment is typically recommended for individuals with pockets deeper than 3mm, indicating the presence of an infection. After gum therapy, consistent at-home care, including brushing, flossing, and additional dental visits, is crucial to maintaining optimal oral health.
Understanding Gum Therapy
Gum therapy is a non-surgical procedure that helps manage an already-active infection over the course of two visits, sometimes requiring local anesthesia. The procedure aims to clean out pockets between teeth and gums as deep as they go (scaling) and smooth the surface of the root (root planing). This may sound daunting, but it is crucial in preventing the progression of bone loss when the spaces between the tooth and gum are 5mm or greater, indicating bone loss. Smoothing the root surface not only makes it harder for bacteria to adhere to it but also makes it easier for the gum to reattach to a clean tooth.
Gum therapy differs from regular cleaning, which is meant to prevent gum disease in healthy gums. It is recommended for people diagnosed with periodontal disease. It can be seen on X-rays but is more commonly found during routine periodontal charting, where a hygienist measures the space between each tooth and gum. Spaces ranging from 1-3mm are considered healthy, while 4+ mm are unhealthy and indicate an infection.
There are many reasons why one may need gum therapy, such as persistent bad breath, bleeding or swollen gums during brushing or flossing, recession of gums away from teeth, making them appear longer, loose teeth, pus around teeth and gums, changes in bite alignment, as well as sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that everyone’s mouth health is different, and what works for one person might not work for another.
To put this into perspective, think of your mouth like a garden. You need to care for it daily by watering and fertilizing it (brushing and flossing) to keep it healthy and prevent weeds from growing (plaque). However, if left unattended or neglected, the weeds can take over the garden (gum disease), preventing your plants (teeth) from receiving the nutrients they need to thrive.
Benefits of Gum Therapy
Gum therapy is an important dental treatment that is effective in treating gum disease. It provides numerous benefits to patients, including improving overall oral health, preventing tooth loss, and reducing the risk of systemic diseases.
Improved Oral Health
Gum disease can cause serious damage to teeth and gums if left untreated. Deep cleaning, or gum therapy, removes harmful bacteria from the mouth and helps prevent further damage from occurring. By removing plaque buildup from below the gum line, this treatment can help restore healthy gums, reduce inflammation, and prevent future periodontitis.
Prevents Tooth Loss
When left untreated, gum disease causes pockets of infection between the gums and teeth, which leads to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Gum therapy reduces these pockets by eliminating bacterial infections while allowing new tissue growth, which ultimately leads to better support for your tooth roots.
Improves the Systematic Health of Patients
Another benefit of gum therapy is its potential to improve the systemic health of patients. Treating gum disease with deep cleaning has been shown to decrease systemic inflammation caused by gum disease, decreasing the risk of other conditions.
Also worth noting is that gum therapy not only addresses symptoms but also attacks the root cause of an array of dental issues. It goes beyond simply cleaning visible surfaces, targeting deeper parts where general cleaning doesn’t reach as well as effectively smoothing surfaces beneath affected teeth to make sure new bacteria won’t grow to create recurrence.
Overall, including gum therapy as part of your oral routine will help you get a healthier smile- which means fewer expenses on dental care treatments in the long run.
Potential Side Effects and Risks
Like with most medical treatments, gum therapy carries some risks and potential side effects you should be aware of. The most common effect is soreness for a few days after gum therapy, especially when flossing and brushing. However, proper care and following instructions about what to eat, drink, or clean can significantly minimize the risks, as complications are not uncommon.
For some patients, the recession of the gums may occur as gum disease affects the attachment between tooth and gum. Root sensitivity can also become more severe and even intensify with time. This is because gum therapy may call for the removal of buildup around the teeth. Dentin contains tiny tubules that reach nerve endings deep in your teeth.
In rare cases, infection may occur, particularly if proper oral hygiene measures are not followed after gum treatment. Patients with weakened immune systems or medical conditions such as diabetes have an increased risk of developing infections.
Gum disease is like termites in housing construction, where they are both destructive conditions that need prompt treatment before they become worse and too late. Neglecting either condition will result in significant damage being done to the foundational support, requiring important work to rebuild the structure’s stability. However, early detection and intervention save much more money and effort in the long run.
Best Gum Therapy Services in Tarpon Springs, FL
At Tarpon Dental, our dental clinic offers the most effective gum therapy services in town. Our skilled team of professionals is dedicated to providing top-notch care and ensuring the health of your gums. With our gum therapy services, you can achieve healthy gums and improve your overall oral health. Say goodbye to bleeding gums and hello to a confident smile.
Don’t wait any longer to give your gums the care they deserve. Contact our dental clinic today to schedule your gum therapy appointment and start your journey toward healthier gums.