Periodontal Treatment in Waltham
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (sometimes referred to as gum disease) affects millions of people – especially those over the age of 30. As plaque and tartar are left to buildup and begin impacting the gum tissue, it can have damaging effects on one’s oral health. And, if left untreated, it has been proven to be dangerous for overall health, too.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Red or inflamed gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Pain while chewing
It is important to develop a healthy oral hygiene routine to maintain optimal oral health.
Periodontal Maintenance Program
Home care is an extremely important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but even excellent home care cannot prevent bacteria and plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden, becoming calculus. We will recommend a periodontal maintenance program that is best for you based on how quickly you develop calculus and your past and current periodontal health. During your maintenance visits we will perform an oral examination as well as a dental cleaning.
During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth roots after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
- A non-surgical treatment that can yield incredible results.
- Alleviate the tenderness and inflammation caused by bacteria.
- Periodontal pockets of pus and infection will be cleared out, reducing your risk of dangerous health issues.
- Fresher breath.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is root scaling and planing painful?
No. The procedure itself is not painful thanks to the use of local anesthesia. However, once it wears off, it is common to feel discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medication is often helpful in finding relief.
How long will it take the gums to heal after root scaling and planing?
The discomfort itself will only last a few days, but you are likely to experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures as well as sugary treats for a month or so following treatment.
Is periodontal disease reversible?
In its earliest stage, gingivitis, the disease is reversible – which is why it is so important to address it early. Once periodontal disease is left to advance, its progression can be halted, but it cannot be reversed.
What are the risk factors for periodontal disease?
A few of the risk factors for periodontal disease include gingivitis, poor oral hygiene, tobacco use (smoking or chewing), obesity, genetics, vitamin deficiencies, and recreational drug use.