Between meetings and presentations and late-night emails, and supporting our local Capitol Square restaurants with takeout and Zoom conference calls at all hours of the day, you may have noticed a little–or maybe a lot–of pink on that toothbrush and in the sink. If your oral hygiene habits have slipped and you’re thinking about how you can make periodontitis go away on your own, read on to learn more about the condition, what can be done at home, and when to see your dentist.
- What is Periodontitis?
- Can Home Remedies Help?
- Scaling and Root Planing
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is an infection of the gums. If left untreated, this serious condition can result in the loss of teeth, tissue, and bones in the mouth and jaw.
Symptoms include red, swollen gums and bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. Your teeth may feel loose or as if they don’t fit together correctly. You might also see spaces between your teeth or places where your gums are pulling up on the teeth.
Periodontitis is caused by long-standing bacteria under the gum tissue that is not cleaned or removed. Nearly half of all American adults over the age of thirty have some stage of periodontitis.
Can Home Remedies Help?
Less serious gum disease is called gingivitis, which can be reversed through diligent home care and routine dental visits.
If you’ve been experiencing bleeding gums, your first step should be ensuring that you’re following the American Dental Association’s recommendations for oral hygiene. The ADA recommends twice-daily brushing for two minutes, as well as flossing once a day. Using an ADA-approved fluoride mouthwash will offer additional help fighting bacteria build-up on your teeth and gums.
Beyond this, you might also try omitting excess sugar from your diet. The sugar from starchy or sweet food can enhance bacteria growth above and below the gum tissue.
If your gums continue to bleed, periodontitis might be to blame. True periodontitis cannot be resolved with at-home care and requires in-office cleaning to remove bacteria below the gumline, where brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Scaling and Root Planing, otherwise known as Gum Tissue Therapy
If your dentist diagnoses you with periodontitis, it’s likely that you’ll require this special cleaning called scaling and root planing. During scaling and root planing, your dental team will remove harmful plaque, bacteria, and tartar beneath the gumline. They will also clean the tooth surfaces below the gumline. This process helps prevent the growth of new plaque and tartar. It also allows gums to reattach to the teeth more firmly. Gum Tissue Therapy results in tight, healthy gum tissue without redness and bleeding.
Scaling and root planing is usually done in two appointments. Your gums will be numbed during the procedure, and you may experience some soreness afterward.
Revaluation of the gum tissue is done four-to-six weeks after Gum Tissue Therapy. Your dentist will look to ensure that the tissue is healing and responding back to health. If signs of disease are still present, additional therapies may be necessary.
You can maintain your new, healthy gums with proper home care, diet, and dental cleanings.
If you are concerned about periodontitis, please schedule an appointment with us today. Along with many other dental services, Affiliated Dentists also offers periodontal maintenance in Madison, Wisconsin.