Periodontics is the aspect of dentistry that deals with the structures around the teeth, such as the gums and bone. Many people may not realize it, but these structures are just as vital to the health of your mouth as your teeth are.
In fact, one of the leading causes of tooth loss is untreated gum disease. This is why dentists keep an eye on both your teeth and your gums when you come in for your regular checkup and cleaning.
Gum disease is frequently caused by insufficient oral hygiene at home. Thorough brushing and flossing, when done regularly, keep the bacterial film called plaque at bay.
Plaque can’t be eliminated. It comes back every day. That’s why we also need to brush and floss every day. When we don’t keep up with our oral hygiene routines, several things happen.
Plaque accumulates in hard-to-reach places, where it hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar both secrete an irritant. This irritant makes your gums sore, slightly puffy, and sometimes causes minor bleeding. It also begins to cause gum recession as those soft tissues attempt to get away from the irritation.
At this stage of gum disease—gingivitis—everything is entirely reversible. A thorough cleaning by a professional will remove this tartar and plaque before it can continue to cause trouble. Once your mouth is clean, your gums will heal and go back to normal.
If it is not stopped, however, it will progress into a much more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. This condition occurs when the gums recede more severely, causing more bleeding, swelling, and pain. Plaque and tartar settle below the gum line and start irritating your gums even further.
If left unchecked, periodontitis will result in very severe gum and bone recession as well as complete tooth loss.
Treating Gum Disease
We will carefully evaluate the health of your gums. We can perform a number of procedures to restore your oral health and halt the progression of gum disease. These procedures can include thorough cleanings, topical rinses, or other treatments that are designed to reverse the effects of periodontitis.
The goal of treating gum disease is to clear out plaque and tartar buildup, which gives your gums a chance to heal.
Though we are happy to help restore your oral health, much of treating gum disease happens at home. We can help you adjust your oral hygiene routines to be more effective in preventing gum disease.
The most effective solution to gum disease is prevention. When you see the dental hygienist at least twice a year and keep up with brushing and flossing, gum disease has very little chance to take hold.
These professional cleanings are the only way to get rid of tartar once it has hardened on your tooth surfaces.
Once rid of the irritants that the plaque and tartar are causing, your gums have a chance to heal, and your teeth are kept safe!
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Don’t put your teeth at risk by letting your periodontal care fall by the wayside. Talk to us today about scheduling a professional cleaning and dental checkup.