Most people tend to think that their gums are firmly attached to the surfaces of their teeth. In truth, they are not attached, and there is a slight amount of room between your gums and the teeth they secure. You see this every time you floss and the floss disappears underneath the gumline and returns with particles of food. You can also feel this when something gets stuck in your gums and no amount of floss or toothpicks seems to jiggle it loose. When food or other items become embedded in your gums, you need a periodontist to fetch these things out. Here is what you can expect from your appointment with the periodontist.
When you point out the areas of your gums that seem to be swollen and irritated because there is something stuck in them, your periodontist will want X-rays. The X-rays will help him or her see if there is anything really solid embedded in your inflamed gums (e.g., the end of a toothpick). If nothing stands out on the X-rays, then your periodontist may try an aggressive approach to flossing to see if the irritant can be freed from your gums. If the X-rays do show something amiss, then your periodontist will tell you what will happen next.
Procedures the Periodontist Might Do after X-rays
Depending on what the periodontist sees in the X-rays, he or she might do one of the following procedures:
- Insert a metal dental pick tool under the gums and scrape back and forth slowly to loosen food particles that are stuck.
- Use a metal dental pick to take a wooden toothpick piece out of the gum tissue.
- Drain an abscess caused by something embedded in the gums.
Before the periodontist treats you for anything embedded in the gums, he or she can numb the area just enough so that you do not feel the procedure.
Prescribing a Treatment Mouthwash and/or Medicated Toothpaste
Finally, after the periodontist removes the embedded material and/or pus from your gum tissue, he or she may prescribe a treatment mouthwash to keep this gum tissue clean and bacteria-free. A medicated toothpaste may also be prescribed to improve your oral hygiene and prevent any further infection. Special instructions on what you can eat and chew on that side of your mouth (i.e., the side where the embedded material was) as well as how to take care of the site until the swelling goes down may be included with your scripts.
Contact a group like Periodontal Specialists to learn more.