Dental health is all about protecting your teeth and helping you look (and feel) your best. This means that you can’t just look after the teeth themselves; you’ve got to take care of the soft gum tissues that contain them, too. Fail to do so and risk dealing with sore gums, loose teeth and – eventually – a complete loss of your natural bite and smile.
This is a worst-case scenario, but it can and does happen to folks who underestimate the importance of periodontal health. For these reasons, it’s recommended you get periodontal screenings during your schedule check-ups – especially if you feel that your gums are sore, sensitive or bleeding.
It’s also sometimes necessary to get the procedures listed below to make sure that your gums (and teeth) stay healthy and attractive for the long haul.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planning sound fancy – but that’s likely because the procedure can sound risky and unpleasant to laypeople. Here’s why.
Your tooth extends way below your gum. In fact, in some individuals, the majority of a tooth can be below the gum line. Generally speaking, this means a tooth is protected from plaque, tartar and caries. Sometimes, though, this isn’t the case – and it becomes necessary for a periodontist to clean the part of your tooth that’s hidden by the gums.
This is what scaling and root planning is. It’s simply the process used to clean up your teeth below the gum line. That’s it!
A common stereotype is that pulling the gum away for the procedure is painful or uncomfortable – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your “gum pockets” have plenty of space for a dentist to clean your teeth and roots without you feeling a thing. In fact, these procedures are amongst the safest and least noticeable when performed by a well-trained dentist.
What Happens if you Don’t Get Periodontal Care?
Patients often tell us that gum tissue is like any other soft tissue: if you leave it alone, it’ll heal. Now, this may work for bumps, bruises and even cuts, but take our word for it… You do not want to wait and see what happens to your gums if they hurt or ache.
This is because even a “minor” periodontal disease, like gingivitis, can eventually turn into periodontitis: an extreme form of gum sickness that results in permanent tooth loss, gum tissue disfiguration, etc.
The good news is that periodontal diseases are easily nipped in the bud. So long as you stay on top of things and see a dentist frequently, you won’t have to deal with any of the problems above. Just make sure not to underestimate the importance of getting your gums treated if something – anything – feels off.
To learn more and schedule your next visit, simply call us today at (480) 830-5100. Our staff is always ready and happy to help!