Maintaining a healthy mouth involves several essential components. A major part of keeping your mouth healthy is your oral care routine at home. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition to your home care, you should also have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. Even occasionally skipping any part of your oral hygiene routine can increase your risk of developing gum disease. If gum disease does occur, treatment is necessary. Jillian Prather Family Dentistry can help with periodontal therapy.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also commonly called periodontal disease, is a progressive oral health issue that can have serious consequences. When it begins, however, it is barely noticeable, and often goes unnoticed altogether. Gum disease starts when a buildup of plaque and bacteria irritate your gums, causing inflammation. This early stage, called gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss. When gingivitis is not treated, the disease continues to worsen. Your swollen gums start to pull away from your teeth, causing pockets to form. Bacteria collect in the pockets. They begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and jawbone while continuing to attack your gums. Without treatment, gum disease can lead to gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
The earliest stage of gum disease can be treated at home with an improved brushing and flossing routine. However, once gingivitis progresses, gum disease requires professional care. Some gum disease treatments require surgical procedures, which can cause a significant amount of swelling and discomfort afterward. We can treat your gum disease with periodontal therapy. Periodontal therapy is a non-invasive method for treating gum disease. This particular treatment involves scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning of all surfaces of your teeth both above and below your gums. While non-invasive, we still administer a local anesthetic. This is to help you remain comfortable during the procedure, as your gums may be sensitive. With scaling, we use a scaler to remove all buildup from the visible surfaces of your teeth, with extra attention paid around and just below the gums. This specialized tool can remove even the most stubborn tartar that cannot be removed with a toothbrush. After scaling, root planing is performed. Root planing is the smoothing of your root surfaces. This removes plaque and bacteria and makes it difficult for new substances to attach. Once root planing is complete, an antibacterial wash is administered. Finally, you are scheduled for a follow up six to eight weeks later, which will enable us to assess the success of your treatment.
Further Treatment with Periodontal Maintenance
If your initial scaling and root planing do not yield the desired results when you return for your follow up, we may recommend you for periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a series of regularly scheduled visits during which we clean your teeth and monitor your progress. During these visits, we check the condition of your teeth, assess buildup, examine your gums, and measure periodontal pockets to make sure that they are reattaching to your teeth. We may also take X-rays. After your examination, we clean your teeth. Depending upon the condition of your mouth, you may need more frequent visits. Typically, the frequency of visits ranges from two to six months.
When gum disease occurs, getting treatment right away is essential. For more information on periodontal therapy and to schedule your consultation, call Jillian Prather Family Dentistry today at (918) 401-9933.