Prevent Gum Disease by Getting Regular Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings do more than keep teeth clean and healthy. Professional cleanings also promote healthy gums by helping prevent infection and the development of gum disease. Maintaining healthy gums is important because gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Dr. Edmund Jay, your skilled San Diego, CA, dentist can help you prevent gum disease and other oral health problems with regular dental exams and cleanings.

How Regular Cleanings Help

Gum disease can develop when gum tissue becomes infected by harmful bacteria in the mouth. One place bacteria can be found is in plaque and tartar that build up along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth when bacteria, saliva, and food particles mix together. Plaque can be removed by gently brushing and flossing regularly.

Plaque that is not cleaned off the teeth in a timely manner begins to harden and become tartar. Also called calculus, tartar cannot be removed by brushing and flossing at home because it bonds with tooth enamel. Tartar can also form below the gum line where it’s difficult to clean. The only way to remove tartar buildup is with a professional dental cleaning. Dentists have the tools and skills to scrape off tartar buildup. They can also clean hard-to-reach areas that are easily missed when brushing at home.

Getting a regular cleaning once every six months is an effective way to prevent gum disease. Your San Diego, CA, dentist can advise you how often you should schedule a cleaning.

Signs of Gum Disease

There are several signs of a gum infection or the presence of gum disease. It is important to see a dentist promptly for treatment if you develop any of the following:

  • Sensitive gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Gums that are receding
  • Swollen, tender, or red gums
  • Gums that bleed while brushing or flossing
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Changes in your bite

Treatments for Gum Disease

Several periodontal therapies are available for restoring the health of gum tissue affected by gum disease and reversing some of the side effects, such as receding gums or tooth loss. Treatments include:

  • Scaling and Root Planing: A method for deep cleaning below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar
  • Gum Grafting: A procedure for replacing lost or damaged gum tissue by grafting healthy tissue in the affected area
  • Periodontal Laser Treatment: Removing infected gum tissue with special laser technology to minimize shrinkage of the gums
  • Periodontal Plastic Surgery: A procedure for reshaping gum tissue to create a more pleasing appearance
  • Dental Implants: Method for replacing missing teeth and their roots

You can prevent gum disease by getting regular dental cleanings. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay, your San Diego, CA, dentist, call us at (858) 270-0682.

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