Periodontal or Gum disease is an acute or chronic infectious process affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. If not addressed, periodontal disease can result in bone loss and eventual loosening and loss of the teeth. Periodontal disease is also associated with systemic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It is usually a slow, painless and progressive process. Most adults with periodontal disease are unaware they have it. If diagnosed and treated early, however, the teeth can be saved.
Signs of Periodontal / Gum Disease:
How to Treat Periodontal / Gum Disease
Prevention is the first line of defense. This includes a good daily home care routine. Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly helps prevent plaque from forming. The dental hygienist may also recommend other tools and instructions to use at home. Regular check-ups are also important in preventing periodontal disease.
If periodontal disease is determined at your visit with a full set of x-rays, a clinical exam, including a periodontal charting, patient education, scaling and root planing, otherwise know as periodontal scaling or a deep cleaning, is the first treatment for periodontal disease. The procedure serves to remove the calcified irritants under the gums to reduce inflammation and infection.
One-fourth or half of the mouth is anesthetized so that the hygienist can comfortably scrape below the gums. This is called scaling and it's similar to removing the scales from a fish. The procedure may be performed by one of our hygienists using hand instruments or ultrasonic vibrating instruments to blast debris off the teeth.
If this step does not control the periodontal disease, periodontal surgery may be recommended. At that time we'll refer you to one of our trusted specialists. We've developed a vast network of professionals that adhere to the same high standards we set for ourselves. Preventing and treating the disease in the early stages are the best ways to keep your smile healthy.