Periodontal Care and Disease Prevention

Periodontal Care and Disease Prevention

Many individuals believe that it is normal for the gums to bleed during brushing and flossing. Bleeding and swollen gums are an early indication of periodontal disease. This disease can cause infections around the teeth along the gums and other tooth-supporting structures.

The early stage, known as gingivitis, solely affects the gums and as the disease advances then all the tissues become involved. The major contributor to periodontal disease is the bacteria found within dental plaque. In response to the bacteria our immune system releases a substance that causes the inflammation of the gums, and when left untreated, destruction of the surrounding tissue.

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by seeing your dentist regularly along with brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice daily. Individuals can remove most plaque found on their teeth just by brushing and flossing correctly. Regular dental visits allow the hygienist a chance to remove the plaque from hard to reach places. When visits to the dentist are skipped it allows for the plaque to spread beneath the gum line, where regular toothbrushes cannot reach. As the plaque builds up beneath the gums they become swollen leading to the formation of pockets between the gums and tooth. When plaque is not removed daily it can begin to calcify and form hard formations on the teeth called calculus. Calculus irritates the gums and can cause bone loss and gingival recession that can lead to tooth sensitivity and tooth loss.

There are numerous treatment options to help fight advanced periodontal disease. Tooth scaling is done by a dental hygienist and uses an ultrasonic scaling device to remove tartar and plaque above and below the gum line. Your dental hygienist will then scale the root surface and tooth by hand to ensure they are disease-free. Antibiotic gels, or antimicrobial chips, and then placed into the tissue pockets along the gum line. These treatments will kill any lingering and allow the pockets to heal and shrink. Once treatment has been completed your dentist will indicate how often you need to be seen for regular dental visits.

If you would like to inquire further about this procedure please contact our office and one of our helpful staff members will be happy to assist you.