Cleanings and Periodontal Care
Even with frequent, consistent oral hygiene, tartar can build up on teeth over time. Bacteria thrive on these hard bits of calculus causing gingivitis, or “gum disease,” which can eventually lead to a bone loss disease known as periodontitis. This is why it’s important to make routine visits to your dentist: to remove the buildup of tartar and prevent gum disease, and, more importantly, to monitor for any signs of periodontal disease.
Read on to learn more about gingivitis and periodontitis, and possible treatment options.
Proper brushing takes should take approximately 2 minutes each time, followed by flossing 1-2 times a day. Yet, many patients fail to follow proper oral hygiene. This can lead to an inflammation of the gums due to an overwhelming presence of bacteria. Gingivitis is painless for the most part, but is easily identified by puffy, red gums, bleeding, and occasional sensivity.
Treating gingivitis isn’t too difficult, if you visit the dentist early enough. A routine cleaning and sometimes antibacterial irrigation will be sufficient for immediate intervention. From there, it’s up to the patient to maintain a strong oral hygiene and routine checkups. If you’re unsure about the proper way to floss, take a look at our flossing guide!
Periodontitis is a serious disease that often occurs in the presence of long lasting, untreated gingivitis. It has many of the same symptoms as gingivitis, such as bleeding, puffy gums and sensitivity. However, it’s distinctive feature is the loss of bone around the teeth. Patients in the early and middle stages of periodontitis are usually unaware they even have it. In the later stages, they may start to notice their teeth becoming loose and mobile. If left untreated, severe periodontitis will result in the loss of multiple teeth.
In order to treat periodontal disease, patients must undergo a procedure called scaling & root planing, or “deep cleaning.” Although it may appear similar to a regular cleaning, the major difference is that it also involves cleaning and scaling the root structure below the gums to remove necrotic tissue that has been invaded by bacteria. Other steps may be taken to help combat the bacteria and prevent the oral health from regressing. Afterwards, a patient with periodontitis must be placed on a 3 month cleaning schedule until his or her periodontal health is stabilized.