Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or bleeding gums, starts when harmful bacteria in the mouth adhere to the teeth and form dental plaque, a biofilm that can lead to various oral issues. One of the initial signs of gum disease is gingivitis, characterized by inflammation of the gingival tissues. Fortunately, regular flossing and twice-daily brushing with an antibacterial toothpaste can help prevent gingivitis.
However, if proper oral hygiene is neglected, gingivitis can progress, leading to more severe inflammation, bleeding gums, and the formation of periodontal pockets between the teeth and gum tissue. When left untreated, this can result in the development of advanced periodontal disease, known as periodontitis.
The progression of periodontal disease is primarily caused by the accumulation of plaque bacteria below the gum line, which is challenging to remove through regular home care practices.
The bacteria within the plaque produce harmful by-products that degrade both soft and hard tissues, deepening the periodontal pockets and affecting the tooth roots. Consequently, the teeth may become loose, causing discomfort and necessitating gum surgery.
Treating diseased periodontal pockets requires professional intervention, typically through a procedure called scaling and root planning. During this process, a dental hygienist employs an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, tartar, and food debris from below the gum line. Hand scaling is then performed to create a smooth and disease-free tooth and root surface.
The number of scaling and root planning sessions required depends on the extent of the oral disease. Typically, the treatment can be completed in two to four sessions. To ensure long-term oral health, patients receive comprehensive guidance on improving their oral care cleaning techniques at home.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices is essential for preventing gum diseases and infections. Regular flossing, brushing twice daily with an antibacterial toothpaste, and scheduling regular dental check-ups are crucial steps in preserving healthy gums and preventing bleeding during brushing.