Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a common oral health issue that affects about half of all adults in the US. It is a progressive disease that can also affect your teeth, your jawbone, and your overall health as well. In the early stages, gum disease is barely noticeable. As the disease progresses, your gums swell and pull away from your teeth. Your gums begin to recede, and your teeth can become loose. You may even suffer tooth loss. Treating gum disease is essential for restoring the health of your mouth. A common treatment for gum disease is scaling and root planing. At Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry, we perform this treatment with an ultrasonic scaler.
How Gum Disease Progresses
Gum disease starts when plaque and bacteria accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth. These substances irritate your gums, which causes them to become red and inflamed. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, also called gingivitis. Your gums may also bleed when you brush and floss. As the disease progresses, the soft tissue begins to separate from the teeth. Bacteria and plaque accumulate in the spaces between the teeth and your gums, which causes the tissue to separate more. Infected tissue begins to die off, causing your gums to recede.
Eventually, the bacteria reach near the roots of your teeth and your jawbone. The bacteria begin to attack the bone and the periodontal ligaments supporting your teeth, causing them to weaken and your teeth to become loose. In advanced stages of gum disease, you can suffer tooth loss. Bacteria may even enter into your bloodstream and travel throughout your body. This can increase your risk for serious health complications such as heart disease and diabetes.
Cleaning Your Teeth
Scaling and root planing are commonly used for treating gum disease. This particular treatment involves cleaning the teeth as well as their roots. With scaling, we carefully and thoroughly clean the visible surfaces of your teeth, including the areas around and just under your gum line. With root planing, we clean the root surfaces of your teeth. By removing all buildup from all surfaces of your teeth, we help to alleviate the irritation from your gums. By alleviating irritation, your gums can begin to heal and reattach to your teeth.
Scaling is done to remove all plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the visible surfaces of your teeth. Traditionally, this has been performed with a manual tool, with which we would physically scrape the surfaces of the teeth to remove stubborn buildup.
Today, scaling is done with what is known as an ultrasonic scaler. This tool allows us to more effectively eliminate buildup from your teeth in a much more comfortable manner. An ultrasonic scaler uses low-frequency soundwaves, which vibrate rapidly against the surfaces of your teeth. The head either moves in a circular or back and forth motion. The vibrations from this tool help to break up and remove even the most stubborn debris in a manner that is much gentler on your already sensitive gums. The ultrasonic scaler also has a spray nozzle attached, which allows us to spray water or a medicated wash, which helps to rinse away debris and bacteria as your teeth are being cleaned.
What are the Benefits of an Ultrasonic Scaler?
There are many benefits to an ultrasonic scaler. This tool allows for a more effective cleaning of your teeth. It can clean your teeth much more quickly than a manual scaler. It also provides a more comfortable, pleasant experience, reducing tissue trauma to your sensitive gums. As a bonus, an ultrasonic scaler can also help to break up surface stains on your teeth, which whitens them as we help to improve your oral health.
An ultrasonic scaler allows us to more effectively remove plaque, tartar, and bacterial buildup from your teeth, stopping the progression of gum disease so that your mouth can begin to heal. For more information, and to schedule your next dental exams and dental cleanings, call Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry at (715) 848-2435 today.