Periodontal disease happens when regular plaque and tartar and their associated bacteria are not regularly cleaned from the teeth and they cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. Early stages of gingivitis can be reversed with brushing and flossing (at least two times a day!) and regular dental cleanings (at least twice a year).
If gingivitis is not properly treated, it leads to periodontitis: the gums begin to pull away from their natural position and allow bacteria and plaque to spread below the gum line. If periodontitis is not treated, the gums, bones, and other tissues that hold teeth in place is destroyed.
One way to stop or even possibly reverse the progression of periodontal disease is to have a deep cleaning, also referred to as scaling and root planing. We do this procedure in our offices, as it is non-surgical. In some cases, Dr. Sheehan can also prescribe medications to assist the efficacy of a deep cleaning.
If you notice that your gums bleed easily when brushed or flossed, you may be in the initial stages of periodontal disease. Your first step is to get a regular cleaning and exam. The doctor can investigate the extent of gum damage and chart a course of treatment for you before things progress beyond the point at which non-surgical methods can work.