The American Academy of Periodontology cites research that shows patients who have gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease.
Another scientific study indicates gum disease increases the risk of non-fatal strokes.
An article in the Journal of Periodontology discusses the links between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health found that patients with gum disease were 63% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Several studies have found that expectant mothers with gum disease are more likely to have their babies too early or have babies with low birth weights.
For proper maintenance of your teeth and gums, it is recommended that you go for dental scaling at least once every 6 months.
What is scaling and why is it important?
Scaling is the mechanical removal of calculus (hard deposits stuck on teeth). Calculus or tartar as it is commonly called, is formed by the hardening/calcification of food debris stuck on the teeth. It irritates the gum tissue causing redness and swelling. If this is left untreated, it may cause loss of the underlying bone as well. This will lead to the teeth to become loose due to loss of supporting structures. Regular scaling by your dentist will reduce the cumulation of hardened deposits and protect your teeth from various gum problems.
Symptoms of gum disease:
- Swollen, tender gum tissue
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Exposure of tooth roots causing pain and sensitivity
- Pus forming in pockets around teeth
This is measured using a special instrument called periodontal probe that has calibrations. The procedure is called periodontal probing. If the depth is more than 4mm, the pocket is quite deep and deeper cleaning/gum treatment is required to adequately clean it. Pockets measuring more than 7mm have a high risk of tooth loss.
What is gum treatment/root planing?
Gum treatment is deep cleaning of the teeth and gums. It is required in patients who have moderate to advanced periodontitis (gum disease which results in bone loss) – a normal scaling is suitable for cleaning the pockets of people who have either no gum disease or those with gingivitis (inflammation of the gums, but no bone loss). It is similar to scaling in that similar instruments are used, but different to scaling because of the greater depth of treatment carried out during root planing.