About Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Gum disease has two primary stages. If diagnosed and treated in the first stage, the condition can be reversed, and tooth loss can usually be prevented. In order to prevent gum disease, practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for cleanings and check-ups twice a year.
Tartar and plaque on the tooth surfaces can harbor bacteria, allowing for the development of gingivitis. Often causing discomfort and swollen or bleeding gum tissues, gingivitis can progress to an infection in the gum tissues, known as periodontitis. This infection of the gums can create periodontal pockets, separating teeth from the surrounding gum and bone structure. If left untreated, this condition will lead to tooth loss.
To ensure you maintain a healthy smile, we will recommend a periodontal maintenance program that is best for you based on how quickly you develop calculus and your past and current periodontal health. During your maintenance visits we will perform an oral examination as well as a dental cleaning.
During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck.
Often we find that may be plaque and tartar that has accumulated below the gum line. If this is the case, we will clean and smooth this area during a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth roots after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.