Periodontal CarePeriodontal Dentistry focuses on the supporting gum and bone around your teeth. Even the healthiest tooth will be lost unless it has a strong foundation. When these tissues are not healthy, patients suffer from periodic infections which increase the rate of bone loss. In fact, gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Healthy gums are a crucial aspect of maintaining good oral health.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call as soon as possible. During your scheduled appointment, we can diagnose the source of the symptoms help restore your gums to pink and healthy. We can also arm you with important techniques to improve your oral hygiene, prevent gum disease, and help you keep your smile beautiful.
Of course, if you have symptoms of advanced bone loss, very mobile teeth, and receded gums, we will consult with our periodontists to evaluate you and treat you for this disease.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Three out of four adults are affected by periodontal disease at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Who Needs Periodontal Treatment?
Patients who have symptoms of gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease, include gums that:
- are painful to the touch
- are swollen, or swell frequently
- are red or purple, rather than pink
- bleed easily, especially during flossing or brushing
- surround teeth that are mobile
- surround teeth covered with tartar/calculus/plaque
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth.
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Medication that causes dry mouth
- Low pH (acidic mouth)
- Poor nutrition
- Radiation treatment causing dry mouth
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Systemic (body wide) diseases
Periodontal Maintenance Intervals
If a patient has been through periodontal care with a specialist or has had our hygienist clean under the gum tissue and along the roots of teeth, having a cleaning twice per year is usually not sufficient enough to keep that patient out of trouble.
The Dentists at Houston Westchase will suggest which re-care interval is best for you: every 6 months, 4 months, or 3 months.