Usually, if you start developing some gum soreness and other symptoms of gum disease, you can kick your brushing and flossing routine into high gear for a few weeks and the symptoms will go away. But what if they don't? What if the gum disease persists? Then, it's time to go to the dentist. They may recommend any one or more of these treatments.
Scaling is a deeper cleaning protocol than the dental hygienist uses on the average patient. It involves cleaning below the gum line, which is a spot where a lot of bacteria can accumulate and lead to chronic gum disease. Because scaling can be uncomfortable, your dentist will probably use a numbing agent on your gums before they begin. Then, they will use a scraping tool to clean below your gum line. Your gums might be a bit sore for a few days afterwards, but with proper dental hygiene, your gum disease symptoms should clear up.
Gum disease is an infection. It's caused by bacteria. Antibiotics can help your body fight off those nasty bacteria and nip the gum disease in the bud. Your dentist may prescribe oral antibiotics for you to take for a week to ten days. Or, they may recommend an antibiotic cream for you to apply to your gum line every few hours. Once the infection is cleared up, brushing and flossing should keep the gum disease from returning.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If your gum disease has been going on for a while, it may have weakened the tissue along your gum line. This can lead to the formation of pockets between your teeth and gums. Food, bacteria, and sugar can get caught in these pockets, and they're difficult to remove. Your dentist may, therefore, recommend a procedure called pocket reduction surgery. They'll cut into your gum tissue, remove the excess tissue, and then suture your gums back up. This is done under local anesthesia, so you don't feel a thing while it is going on. You'll need to eat soft foods for a few days after the procedure, but once chewing no longer causes pain, you can go back to your normal diet.
If you can't seem to shake a case of gum disease, don't hesitate to contact your dentist. There are plenty of options for dental treatment, and prompt treatment is important if you want to avoid tooth loss down the road.