Periodontal (gum) disease, is a serious, progressive, oral health issue. When it begins, however, it is almost completely undetectable. Any early symptoms that do present themselves are often written off as brushing too hard. Untreated, gum disease only continues to grow worse and can lead to serious complications, including loose teeth, tooth loss, and health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. At Cameo Dental Specialists, we can help to stop gum disease in its tracks and restore the health of your mouth with periodontal maintenance.
How Gum Disease Progresses
Gum disease is the result of the buildup of oral bacteria and plaque (a sticky substance that accumulates on your teeth). While they are both naturally-occurring, they are harmful in excessive amounts. Bacteria and plaque irritate your gums, which leads to inflammation (swelling). As your gums swell, they pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets and begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and jawbone. Eventually, you are faced with gum recession, loose teeth, and even missing teeth.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a treatment for gum disease that involves a series of regularly scheduled dental cleanings. On average, these cleanings are performed every three months, but the exact frequency of your visits depends on your specific situation. Your visits begin with an exam. We check the condition of your teeth, measure periodontal pockets, and take x-rays. X-rays allow us to assess the condition of your teeth and jaw below the gum line. We then move on to your cleaning.
Scaling And Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a “deep cleaning” for your mouth. Scaling is a procedure used to remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque that cannot be removed with a toothbrush), bacteria, and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth (including between them and just below the gum line). Root planing is a procedure in which the roots of your teeth are smoothed, effectively removing plaque, bacteria and other toxins. An antibacterial wash is administered below the gum line as well, which is done to help kill off any lingering bacteria.
Benefits Of Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance has several benefits:
|It slows the progression of gum disease.
|Your gums are given the opportunity they need to heal. As the irritation and inflammation ease, your gums can reseal around your teeth.
|All buildup, including stubborn tartar, which cannot be removed with at home dental care, is removed.
|It helps to protect the health of your teeth and prevents them from falling out. It can also help to prevent serious health issues (heart disease, stroke, diabetes).
How To Get Your Oral Health Back On Track
While periodontal maintenance can help to put an end to the progression of gum disease and allow your gums to heal, you cannot rely on your appointments only. It is important that you take measures to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home in between your scheduled visits. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing at least once. Along with this, make sure you eat a diet of nutrient-dense foods. Foods that are nutritious can help your teeth and gums to fight infection and heal.
If you have gum disease, periodontal maintenance may be able to help. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, call Cameo Dental Specialists today at (630) 425-4488.