Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Gum disease affects half of the adults in America, according to the CDC, and it’s the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease also makes you more susceptible to experiencing additional tooth loss later on. Did you know that gum disease is treatable? Read on as family dentist in Poway, Dr. Nicol Cook discusses why gum disease requires a dental deep cleaning.
What is gum disease?
To start with, let’s discuss what gum disease is, and its symptoms. Gum disease presents in stages beginning with gingivitis, which results in tender and swollen gums that bleed easily. In the earliest stage of gingivitis, you may find that your gums tend to bleed a little bit when you brush or floss your teeth, hence that saying of, “pink in the sink.” While adapting to a consistent oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and receiving dental cleanings from your dentist twice a year can turn things around for you, ignoring the problem will only make matters worse.
How does gum disease begin?
It often starts by not taking care of your mouth. Something as simple as taking two minutes twice a day to brush, and then floss your teeth can make the difference between developing gum disease or not. While hormone fluctuations or certain medical conditions such as diabetes may make a person more prone to developing gum disease, it almost always is preventable. The buck doesn’t stop at home, however, which is another reason why those 6-month dental cleanings and checkups are so essential to your oral health! Only a professional dental cleaning can remove that stuck on plaque that everyone, even avid brushers, develop. Plaque buildup, if left on your teeth, harbors bacteria that cause gum disease.
The stages of gum disease
Gum disease, if ignored, will progress into more severe stages. During the next stage of gum disease, periodontitis begins as pockets form, which is when gums separate from the base of the tooth, creating an entry for bacteria and plaque to form on your tooth’s roots and enter your bloodstream to cause a host of health problems. At this point, irreversible damage has been done, yet treatment can stop the disease from progressing.
Advanced periodontitis is when the jawbone is damaged to the point that teeth shift or drift out of place, or become loose and in need of an extraction. Once you reach this stage of gum disease, all hope is not lost yet. You still can begin a healthy regimen of oral hygiene to save the remaining teeth that you have left, and to explore tooth replacement options with your implant dentist in Poway, Dr. Cook.
What’s a dental deep cleaning and why might I need one?
Speaking of treatment, a dental deep cleaning is usually one of the first treatments that a dentist will recommend when a patient has gum disease. This procedure is essentially a dental cleaning that goes below the gum line to clean plaque and bacteria out of those periodontal pockets that formed. If you were only to clean above the gum line in these instances, all that harmful bacteria would continue causing damage below the gum line and eventually cause your teeth to become so loose that they require extracting.
If you have gum disease, then you would benefit from a dental deep cleaning. In many cases, the patient’s mouth is made numb so that they remain comfortable throughout the cleaning procedure. Only one side of the mouth, or just a quadrant, is numbed and treated at a time, that way you can still eat and drink within a few hours of your appointment.
Gum Disease Treatment in Poway
To learn more about gum disease, how we treat it, or schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.