Gum disease can do more than ruin your smile.
What is periodontal disease?
Bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream when the gums are inflamed. Periodontal disease is also a known risk factor for developing heart disease. The team at Brookline Dental Specialists can help!
Periodontitis is a common and preventable condition caused by a bacterial inflammation of the gums called “gingivitis.” if not treated periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and is a risk factor for people with heart or lung diseases. Symptoms include swollen, red, and tender gums.
Can I treat periodontal disease at home?
While it’s not possible to treat periodontal disease at home once you have been diagnosed, it is very easy to prevent!
- Brush your teeth after meals.
- Use a soft toothbrush and replace it every three to four months.
- Floss daily.
What is periodontal therapy?
Periodontal procedures restore health to the gums and bone that support the teeth and prevent tooth loss. Scaling and Root Planing are deep-cleaning techniques that are the best starting point to control gum disease.
Scaling is simply the process of scraping dental plaque off of the teeth, something that happens at every dental cleaning visit. Plaque is the buildup of food particles, bacteria, and their waste products on the teeth. It is yellowish or grey, and is not pleasant! Plaque builds up the most along the gumline and is a key factor in developing gingivitis, and later periodontal disease. Special tools such as periodontal scalers are used during this part of the procedure to reach the deep pockets in the gums where periodontal disease occurs. Because scaling and root planing are semi invasive to the gumline, local anesthesia like novocaine is often administered before the procedure begins.
Root planing is a deeper cleaning procedure, penetrating below the surface of the gums and into the pockets that develop below the tooth, harboring unfriendly bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Root planing smooths out the roots of the teeth, giving them a chance to continue on a path to healing after being cleansed of disease. Scaling and root planing can often take multiple appointments to be done properly, and to prevent future infection.
After a scaling and root planing procedure, sensitivity, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums is common. Ask your hygienist, our periodontal specialist for advice if you feel you are bleeding excessively or experience severe pain. Special mouth washes or medications can be prescribed for aftercare of a deep cleaning. A follow up appointment is usually necssary to determine the effectiveness of the procedure, and if further cleaning is necessary to prevent future infection.
The only way to guarantee a healthy, periodontal disease-free mouth is good dental hygiene! Make, and keep your semi-annual hygiene maintenance appointments. Ask your hygienist for advice about an optimal home care routine. Brushing and flossing regularly and well is much easier than sitting through a scaling and root planing procedure.
If you have questions about periodontal care, contact Brookline Dental Specialists.
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