Gingivitis is a disease where we often see gums bleeding during brushing or even biting. Gums in this case are often red and sensitive accompanied by halitosis (bad breath smell). Gingivitis can advance to periodontitis when left untreated.
Periodontitis is an infection that begins from the gums surrounding the tooth and extends the bone around the teeth. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. Periodontal disease can also have an effect on the bone around the root of the tooth causing many times mobility of the tooth, which in severe periodontal cases can also fall out from the mouth. Factors that raise risk of periodontitis are smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, stress, medication (such as antidepressants) or genetic susceptibility.
Gingivitis is treated mainly by scaling (or more commonly known as tooth cleaning), which is the process of removing dental plaque and calculus from the teeth. In dentistry, calculus or tartar is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by precipitation of minerals from saliva and gingival fluid on the teeth. Depending on the deposition of tartar tooth cleaning can be completed in one session as in most cases, whereas larger depositions of calculus may need a second appointment to be completed. During tooth cleaning a special ultrasound device is used, or hand tools, or their combination. In cases where patients consume a lot of red wine, coffee or are heavy smokers with lots of discoloration tooth cleaning can ideally be combined with Airflow Cleaning.Typically tooth cleaning to treat gingivitis needs no anesthesia.
Periodontitis is treated with a combination of scaling and root debridement. During periodontal treatment the goal is to remove calculus and microbia through a deep-cleaning method through scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria from the tooth and its surface above or below the gum line. Treatment of periodontitis requires more than one appointment. Depending on the gravity of periodontitis treatment can be completed in two or four appointments using always local anesthesia.