The Finer Points of Gum Cleaning

The Finer Points of Gum Cleaning

November 13, 2019

Many good dental hygiene measures don’t just involve keeping your teeth clean, but also the soft periodontal (gum) tissues that support them. Along with tooth decay, gum disease is one of the most common chronic dental health issues, and the most effective way to prevent it is to control the buildup of oral bacteria that causes it. For example, if we notice signs of gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease – we may recommend professional gum cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, to address it. When detected and treated early with scaling and root planing, gingivitis can more successfully be controlled before more severe gum disease develops.

The nature of gingivitis

Oral bacteria accumulate every day, forming plaque that clings to your teeth’s surfaces and along your gum line. There are hundreds of different kinds of bacteria that can contribute to this buildup, some of which are particularly harmful to your gum tissues. For instance, some release toxins that irritate your gums and cause them separate from your teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria can gather. Others can release molecules that cause unchecked inflammation in your gums, leading to more severe damage to your gums if not treated promptly.

What scaling and root planing does

When plaque calcifies into tartar on the visible parts of your teeth, professional dental cleaning can remove it and the bacteria that it harbors to protect your teeth from harm. However, when plaque and tartar develop on your teeth roots, which are underneath your gums, the only way to remove them is with professional gum cleaning, or scaling and root planing. This often involves using ultrasonic technology to thoroughly clean and smooth your teeth roots’ surfaces, which is a more complex process than routine dental cleaning. The removal of bacteria from underneath your gums is paramount to controlling the infection, or gingivitis, that they’ve caused and preventing it from growing much worse.

Warning signs that you need gum cleaning

The development of gingivitis can sometimes go unnoticed at first, though you can spot the early signs of it if you carefully examine your gums every time you brush and floss your teeth. Some of the most common warning signs include:

  • Redness in your gums
  • Inflammation (swelling)
  • Bleeding when you brush and floss
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
  • Discoloration in certain areas of your gums
  • And more

Learn if you need scaling and root planing

If you show the warning signs of gingivitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing to address the issue as early as possible. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.