Periodontal (gum) disease is the result of too much bacteria building up onto your teeth and gums.
When the bacteria start to collect in your mouth, they can create a sticky, colorless substance known as “plaque.” Plaque builds up and sticks to your teeth. If it is not removed during brushing or flossing, the particle can harden and turn into tartar. Over time, plaque and tartar become more difficult to remove at home so a professional cleaning with our dentist is important for maintaining your oral health and preventing decay and periodontal disease.
The longer the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harm they can cause to your oral health. Eventually plaque and tartar will create a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gum tissue. Ideally, routine cleanings and proper oral care can prevent gingivitis from developing. Once gum disease is prevalent, we can help maintain the disease and prevent it from progressing.
In cases where gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontal disease. Inflammation affects the soft tissue (gums) and teeth, creating pockets between them. If left untreated, the pockets become deep and can cause teeth to become loose or even fall out.
A common solution for controlling periodontal disease is a deep dental cleaning, which can be performed by our dentist. Scaling and planing is performed without any anesthesia. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of the disease may make it necessary to numb the area for comfort. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surfaces, and root planing is smoothening the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure.
Periodontitis can often not be completely reversed, but with proper at-home care combined with in-office maintenance, we can help prevent the disease from progressing. It is important to regularly see us for a routine, professional cleaning and examination. Also, it is essential to keep up with your daily oral routine at home. Flossing is crucial to preventing periodontal disease.