Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of missing teeth. According to the latest statistics, more than 50 percent of American adults have the disease. These alarming statistics are one of the reasons Covington Family Dental provides periodontal maintenance treatment for our patients.
Our primary goal is to help you keep your natural teeth for as long as possible with preventive care.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the advanced form of gum disease. In the early stages, this condition happens when bacteria cause plaque to adhere to the surface of your teeth. When it goes untreated, plaque eventually gets under your gums and keeps growing until it begins separating the gums from the teeth.
Gums should fit snugly around the teeth to help hold them in place. Plaque accumulation causes pockets where infection can grow and eventually turn into gum disease.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
When you come in with periodontal disease, we will take x-rays to determine the extent of the decay and schedule a treatment plan. We will do deep cleaning or scaling of the teeth and root planing. In simple terms, this procedure consists of measuring the pockets around each tooth and cleaning the plaque from them. We do this to protect your gums and bones.
This procedure is like regular dental cleaning, but our hygienist will spend more time carefully cleaning each pocket with specialized tools. These appointments could take around an hour, depending on how advanced the disease is and we usually use a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
One of the first signs of periodontal disease is bleeding gums. If you notice blood when you brush your teeth and haven’t been to our office for a while, you should give us a call. The only way to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth is with the tools used by our professional hygienists.
Other symptoms of periodontal disease include:
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
Patients who have periodontal disease and need to come in for deep cleaning of their teeth and gums may require more frequent appointments to monitor the condition. Some people produce more plaque than others, and you may fall into that category. If that is your situation, we will usually ask that you come to see us every four months instead of the twice a year visit.
It is critical that you keep these periodontal maintenance appointments to keep your teeth, gums, and bones healthy. You can also invest in a water flosser so that you can remove additional plaque at home in between appointments. In many cases, if you maintain good habits at home, a water flosser can reverse some of the symptoms.
Periodontal disease can result in tooth loss, and we want to prevent that at all cost. By doing periodontal maintenance and keeping a close eye on the pockets in your gums, we can sometimes reverse the condition.
If you think you have periodontal disease, please call Covington Family Dental at 253.499.6155 today to schedule an appointment.