Plaque and TartarPlaque is the sticky film that develops on your teeth during the day. It traps food particles, sugars, and bacteria. Regular brushing can help to remove it, but if you don't brush it hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed except by your dentist. Tartar pushes up against your gums and causes inflammation.
Periodontal PocketsWhen your gums are inflamed, they pull away from your teeth, creating a gap. This space is known as a pocket, and bacteria can fall into this space. Untreated, the pockets continue to get deeper.
Scaling and Root PlaningScaling and root planing are often the go to treatment for starting the healing process from gum disease. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Root planing smooths the surfaces of your roots and gets rid of bacteria and toxins.
Periodontal TherapyWhile scaling and root planing can start the healing process, sometimes they are not enough. Your periodontist may suggest periodontal therapy. This is a treatment plan that involves periodic visits (the frequency is determined by your periodontist) to clean your teeth and examine them for progress.
Soft Tissue GraftGum disease often leads to gum recession, which exposes more of the surface of your teeth, including their roots. This increases your risk of tooth decay as well as sensitivity. It can also affect your appearance and make you self-conscious. A soft tissue graft uses tissue from the roof of your mouth (or surrounding gum tissue) to halt gum recession and restore your gums to their former, healthy state.
Understanding just a few of the key terms that are used in gum disease treatment can better help you to heal. If there is ever anything you are unsure of, never hesitate to ask your dentist. He will be more than happy to explain anything you don't understand. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (602) 900-1609.