Gum disease is a common oral health issue that, untreated, can result in serious consequences, including tooth loss. When it first begins, however, you might never even know that anything is wrong. As it progresses, however, it becomes more and more noticeable, and the effects become worse and worse. At Summit Dental Care, we can provide you with the periodontal care that you need to prevent and treat gum disease so that you can maintain a healthy mouth.
How Can I Get Gum Disease?
One of the main causes of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Neglecting your oral care routine can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Other factors that can contribute to gum disease include smoking, significant alcohol consumption, dry mouth, medical conditions such as diabetes, and even crooked teeth. When plaque and bacteria accumulate along your gumline, they begin to irritate the tissue, leading to gum disease.
What Are The Stages Of Gum Disease?
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This stage is also the one that most people overlook and do not know that they have. At this stage, only the gums are affected. The only real symptoms are red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss.
If gingivitis is not addressed, periodontitis can develop. At this stage, the bacteria have gone below the gumline and are attacking your jawbone. The longer it goes untreated, the worse it becomes, and can eventually develop into advanced periodontitis. In periodontitis, your gums recede, you lose bone mass in your jaw, and your teeth become loose and unstable. You may even lose your teeth.
So, How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is to take good care of your mouth. It is recommended that you brush twice a day as well as floss once a day. These habits help to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, keeping these substances from irritating your gums. You should also schedule regular dental cleanings and exams every six months. Other ways to help prevent gum disease include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, keeping diabetes under control, and having crooked teeth corrected.
What Happens If I Get Gum Disease?
If gum disease does develop, there are treatments available. If you can catch gum disease when it is still gingivitis, we can help you to reverse it. This is done with a thorough professional cleaning and making sure that you take good care of your mouth.
Once gum disease turns into periodontitis, the issue can only be managed. It cannot be reversed. We can help you to stop the progression of gum disease, though, and maintain a healthy mouth. Depending upon the severity of your periodontitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery, osseous surgery, or another treatment. Periodontal maintenance may also be recommended to help ensure that your mouth stays healthy and that gum disease does not worsen.
Taking good care of your mouth is important not just for preventing cavities, but for preventing gum disease as well. For more information, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 733-9999 today.
Despite what many people think, gum disease is fairly common. While the earliest stage, also known as gingivitis, is reversible, later stages are not. This does not mean that you are doomed to the effects of untreated gum disease, however. Getting treatment right away can help to put a stop to the progression of gum disease. To improve your oral health and prevent gum disease from worsening again, the condition needs to be managed. Summit Dental Care can help to protect your oral health with periodontal maintenance.
Understanding Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance is a type of dental cleaning. This particular cleaning, however, is specifically meant for patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease. It is typically recommended after you have received an initial treatment for gum disease, most commonly after scaling and root planing. These cleanings take the place of your routine dental cleanings.
How Is This Different Than A Routine Cleaning?
So, how exactly are periodontal maintenance cleanings different than routine dental cleanings? The biggest difference between the two is how thorough the cleanings are. With routine dental cleanings, we focus on the crowns of your teeth and the areas along the gumline. With periodontal maintenance, we focus cleaning not just the crowns of your teeth, but the surfaces below the gumline as well. When you have periodontal pockets, bacteria and plaque can accumulate under the gumline.
No matter how well the crowns are cleaned, if the areas under the gums are not cleaned, your mouth will never be able to heal properly. Periodontal maintenance allows for a deeper clean so that you can achieve and maintain a healthier mouth. In addition to being more thorough, periodontal maintenance visits are generally more frequent. On average, these cleanings are done every 3 months.
Are More Frequent Visits Really That Necessary?
This depends upon the severity of your gum disease. The actual frequency of your visits will depend upon the condition of your mouth. For those with more advanced gum disease, more frequent visits are essential for ensuring that all surfaces of your teeth stay clean so that your gums can begin to heal and reattach. For those with less severe gum disease, you may not need as many visits.
As your mouth heals and you can maintain your oral health, you may only need periodontal maintenance visits twice a year. Even at twice a year, your cleanings will still be periodontal maintenance cleanings rather than routine cleanings to help ensure that your mouth remains healthy. Regardless of the frequency of your visits, it is important that you follow your treatment plan to ensure the gum disease does not take over your mouth again.
Periodontal Maintenance Benefits
One of the biggest benefits of periodontal maintenance visits is that they help to slow and stop the progression of your gum disease. By following your treatment plan, we can effectively remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria buildup. This helps to alleviate the irritation experienced by your gums. The tissue can then begin reattaching to your teeth. By helping you to improve the health of your mouth, we can help you to avoid the more devastating effects that advanced periodontitis can have.
Later stages of gum disease might not be reversible, but the condition is manageable. For more information about periodontal maintenance, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 733-9999 today.