Did you know that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults and accounts for 70% of missing teeth? Taking care of your gums is just as important as taking care of your teeth, as they help keep the teeth stable in their sockets. Read further to learn about the signs of periodontal (gum) disease, the importance of periodontal maintenance, and how it can preserve your natural smile and keep your teeth in the best condition possible to prevent tooth loss.
Are You Showing Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is prevalent, and about half of Americans suffer from this issue. Genetics, diabetes, hormonal changes and smoking are a few factors of gum disease, but poor oral hygiene is the most common cause. Red, tender and swollen gums, pain during chewing, loose teeth, and bad breath are all possible symptoms of the disease. While this disease can not be completely reversed, it can be controlled with periodontal maintenance.
Differences Between Regular Teeth Cleaning and Periodontal Maintenance
During a regular cleaning, the dental hygienist removes tartar, plaque and surface stains from the teeth. The dental hygienist polishes the teeth to make them shiny and smooth, followed by a fluoride treatment meant to strengthen the enamel. Regular dental cleanings are normally performed every half a year for individuals with no signs of gum disease and healthy gums.
On the other hand, periodontal maintenance is a much more intensive cleaning procedure. Typically, periodontal maintenance appointments are arranged every three to four months. They serve as a proactive measure to prevent the progression of the disease and to maintain gum health. Within these appointments, the hygienist will execute a deep cleaning procedure referred to as scaling and root planing. This process is designed to eliminate plaque, tartar and bacterial build-up from below the gumline. Additionally, a thorough assessment of gum health is conducted to detect any indications of inflammation or infection. The frequency and methods employed in each session are tailored to address the specific needs of the patient.
Most Common Steps During Periodontal Maintenance
- Supragingival cleaning: The hygienist thoroughly cleans the areas above and below the gum line to remove plaque and calculus. This process is also referred to as scaling.
- Root planing: Eliminates remaining bacteria by smoothening the tooth root.
- Medication: Following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic may be placed within the gum pockets for comfort and to promote the healing.
- X-ray and examination: X-rays reveal the extent of bone and gum recession and identify other areas that may require attention. Preserving your natural teeth is always the goal of dental specialists; however, occasionally, the examination may show one or more of your teeth are unable to be saved. Thus, building a solid foundation through consistent maintenance on which to place premium dental implants is vital in the process.
Begin Your Journey Toward a Healthier Smile Today!
Dr. Brown believes that nothing is better than your original teeth and strives to preserve the natural teeth and gum tissue. He is published in the Journal of Periodontology Online and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. His goal is to create a comfortable setting where you can learn about your conditions and treatment.
Dr. Brown and his team use the highest quality materials to improve the success of your periodontal treatments. The staff will demonstrate the most effective ways to clean your teeth at home so you can prevent the onset of periodontal disease. Contact Vero Implants and Periodontics today to begin your journey toward maintaining a healthier, natural smile.