Friday, April 1st, 2022
According to the CDC, 47% of American adults over 30 struggle with gum disease. That number jumps to 70% of adults over age 65. It may be the most common diagnosis made at a dental checkup.
In its early stages, gum disease (gingivitis) makes gums swell with inflammation, which can hurt and cause bleeding. As it worsens, patients can lose their teeth. Most urgently, gum disease can expose patients to serious infections that damage the bones, lungs, and even the heart.
Fortunately, there are preventative measures and treatments—including deep cleaning. It's wise to talk to your local dentist in Coquitlam, BC, to learn what treatment options are right for you.
That said, there are some broad guidelines to explore if you're wondering, "When does gum disease require deep cleaning?" Read on to learn about the stages of gum disease, and how deep cleaning works to help.
Gum disease starts with oral bacteria. Ideally, you'll be able to prevent gum disease before it ever happens. Oral hygiene is key to prevention.
That said, it's important to intervene as early as possible if you have it.
The best preventative measures are to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and to see a dentist once or twice each year. It's wise to see a dentist more often if you're at higher risk of gum disease. Medications that cause dry mouth, hormonal treatments, and stress can elevate your risk.
If your risk is high, you can use mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing.
Studies have demonstrated certain mouthwashes can further decrease the risk of gum disease. These can also help treat gum disease by reducing its severity. According to one recent analysis, the most effective mouthwashes typically include one or more of these ingredients:
Other studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Aloe vera as a mouthwash ingredient. It can improve dental health and soothe irritated tissue at the same time.
If you have early-stage gum disease, or your disease's severity is mild to moderate, a deep cleaning is the right treatment. Deep cleaning is scaling and root planing. Typically, dentists use local anesthetics, like novocaine, so the treatment is painless.
During a deep cleaning, the dentist uses manual and electric tools to remove the plaque from teeth. The process specifically removes plaque deposits that form in deep pockets of the gums. The deposits are the primary source of the germs that cause gum disease.
Deep cleaning pulls the gums from the roots of the teeth. After deep cleaning, the dentist will smooth out the roots, which encourages the gums to re-attach to the roots.
Dentists may prescribe an aftercare regimen after the deep cleaning is complete. This can involve prescription-strength toothpaste and mouthwash. You may be asked to avoid certain foods.
Once gum disease has progressed and become severe, a deep cleaning may not be enough. At this stage, you may have already lost teeth and experience severe pain. A dentist will generally prescribe oral antibiotics to get the bacterial infection under control.
Once antibiotics start working, it's possible deep cleaning is still an option. But, more often, clinicians must address severe gum disease with debridement.
In some cases, debridement cannot be safely performed in a dentist office. This is an oral surgery that removes damaged or diseased tissue.
Dentists treat the most serious cases with gingivectomy or gingivoplasty surgeries. This removes diseased gum tissue and shapes healthy gum tissue.
Catch gum disease early with a dentist you trust. Get your next dental checkup right here, from a dentist in Coquitlam. Book an appointment by phone, or contact us online today.