Periodontal disease, or most commonly referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the gingival and bone tissues that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is typically caused by poor oral hygiene habits such as lack of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings. If routine brushing and flossing is not practiced a sticky film of bacteria or “plaque” forms and hardens below the gums and on the tooth surfaces. If left untreated and allowed to advance unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to sore bleeding gums, bad breath, painful chewing problems, gum recession, tooth mobility and even ultimately tooth loss.
Luckily today there are many periodontal treatments available to the patient to help reduce the chances of gum disease, improve an existing condition, or even cure a periodontal condition. To see if you have periodontal or “gum” disease, we will review your medical history, take gingival measurements with a ruler “probe” and take dental x-rays to check for bone loss and tarter build-up under the gums. Once your periodontal stage is diagnosed, our amazing dental hygienist will recommend a course of treatment. Treatment options can include and are not limited to :
- 6 month, 4 month, or 3 month apart dental cleanings
- Periodontal scaling and root planning (deep cleaning
- Local antibiotic placement to affected areas
- Reducing habits such as smoking, straightening any overly crowded teeth, and fixing any uneven or fractured restorations that can cause extra plaque build-up and food impaction.
- In some cases periodontal surgery may be recommended
It is important to practice good oral hygiene at home in between regular visits to your dentist to maintain good oral health. With the practice of daily brushing (2x per day), flossing, use of a water pik, and a mouth rinse your gingival health will stay healthy and controlled. It is also important to note that if periodontal health is left untreated, it can lead to or worsen other health conditions in the body.