As a comprehensive General Dentistry Office, we take the care of our patient gums very seriously. Our goal is to catch and treat the periodontal problems before they turn into a serious issue that would require surgical care with a periodontal specialist.
WHAT IS IT?
Periodontal Disease (aka - gum disease) is an infection and inflammation of the gums. It can be acute or chronic, come and go, be generalized or site specific. Our hygienists evaluate your gums at every visit to monitor this constantly changing situation. Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss affecting 75% of people at some point in their life.
Healthy gums are pink and tight. If you have red, swollen gums or they bleed while brushing/ flossing, have bad breath or loose teeth, you may have periodontal disease.
WHAT CAUSES PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT IT?
In short, inadequate dental hygiene is the leading cause. Specifically, when you don’t correctly brush and floss routinely, you leave plaque to form on your teeth. This plaque, the sticky film constantly forming on your teeth, makes a great place for living bacteria to grow and produce toxins which cause gums to become red, swollen and puffy. If plaque is not properly removed, it will harden into calculus (aka – tarter). Calculus is a strong home base for the bacteria to multiply and then move down the tooth, makes a pocket, destroying the gum and bone along the way. If left untreated, periodontal disease leads to significant bone loss and the teeth eventually become loose and fall out or need to be extracted. Dealing with periodontal disease as soon as possible makes it easier to get control of the disease if caught early enough, can save you substantial time, money and pain down the road. You cannot grow back the bone and gum that was lost but with continued care, you can likely keep your teeth for years to come.
While the most common cause of gum disease is a poor daily dental routine, other factors can contribute to the problem:
|Diabetes||Tobacco Use||Poor Diet||Stress|
|Medications||Genetics||Tooth Position||Tooth Shape|
|Compromised Immune System||The Amount & Type of Mouth Bacteria|
|Hormonal Fluctuations During Pregnancy, Menstrual Cycle or Use of Birth Control Pills|
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?
We set you on a course of periodontal therapy. The first step of therapy is to teach you the correct way to care for your teeth at home. Next, we want to reduce the infection and inflammation with a procedure called scaling and root planing; a thorough, deep and time-consuming cleaning of the teeth while the area is numb.
If the infection does not resolve or is particularly severe, we may recommend an application of antibiotic.
During periodontal therapy, we constantly evaluate results to change and modify treatment as needed and could recommend additional therapies like prescription mouthwashes, rinses, probiotics and others specific to your situation.
When therapy is completed, you are then put on Periodontal Maintenance Care.
WHAT IS PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE CARE?
Following periodontal therapy, it is important to maintain frequent periodontal cleanings at set intervals to ensure proper plaque and debris removal, disrupt and destroy bacterial growth below the gum line and monitor for signs of active disease. Regular Periodontal Maintenance helps us manage and control the disease. There have been many scientific studies that concluded the optimal frequency of periodontal maintenance care is every 3 months.
YOU NEED TO DO YOUR PART
It’s all about good oral hygiene at home. If you don't do your homework of brushing and flossing at least twice a day, everything we do will have minimum affect. We will teach you the proper hygiene techniques and tools to use. One of the easiest things to do is get an electronic toothbrush which helps you brush the correct amount of time, with the right pressure, more efficiently.
If you think you have Periodontal Disease or want to learn more about it, please request an appointment or contact us today
and experience what Dentistry Done Better is all about!