When there’s an infection in a tooth, the patient has a cavity, and needs a filling. When there’s an infection in the gums, the patient has gingivitis, or gum disease.
Many people don’t realize that gum disease can be far more damaging than tooth decay. As gum disease progresses, the gums begin to recede away from the teeth. There’s less tissue available to hold the teeth in place. Eventually, the teeth may begin to fall out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S. As a dentist in Kirkland, Dr. Caggiano sees many cases of gum disease.
There are treatments for gum disease. If you have gum disease, then your dentist in Kirkland will recommend that you come in for more frequent cleanings – every four months, every three months, or even once a month in severe cases – until the disease is under control. Once your gums are healthy again, you’ll be able to go back to the regular schedule of once every six months.
Treatments called scaling and root planing are used to treat gum disease. Scaling involves deep cleaning of the teeth, including below the gum line, removing as much plaque as possible. This removes calculus (hardened plaque, which regular brushing and flossing can’t eliminate), leading to healthier and less inflamed gums.
Root planing is a technique of smoothing the roots of the teeth. Rough patches on the tooth roots can harbor bacteria and are hard to clean. Smoothing them reduces the number of bacteria and prevents them from growing there again in the future.
Gum disease can be prevented in many cases. Good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing thoroughly every day, is very important and can help to prevent gum disease. It’s also important to go to your dentist every six months for your checkup. Your professional cleaning will help to remove the bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease, and your dentist in Kirkland will look for signs of gum disease or other problems with your oral health.
For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.