Gum Disease

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Periodontal Disease

A periodontist is a dental specialist that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jawbone. The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jawbone anchors teeth firmly in place. A Periodontist has completed a few years of extra dental training beyond dental school, and is concerned with maintaining the function, health, and aesthetics of the jawbone and tissues.

Reasons for periodontal treatment

Periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a progressive condition which begins with gum inflammation called gingivitis. It progresses to soft tissue attachment and bone loss. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world and should be taken very seriously. Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms.

Our dentist is trained in many aspects of dental implant procedures, which can restore functionality to the mouth when teeth have been lost due to periodontitis. Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build up to halt the spread of the infection. Your dentist will be happy to advise you on effective cleaning methods and treatment options.

Reasons for scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing can be used both as a preventative measure and as a stand-alone treatment. These procedures are performed to reduce bacteria and inflammation from the gums and supporting tissues. Here are some reasons why these dental procedures may be necessary:

Disease prevention

The oral bacteria which cause periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to periodontal bacteria. Scaling and root planing removes bacteria and stops periodontal disease from progressing, thus preventing the bacteria from traveling to other parts of the body.

Tooth protection

When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, there is a greater risk of periodontal disease. As pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, a chronic inflammatory response by the body begins to destroy gum and bone tissue which may lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world.

Aesthetic effects

Scaling and root planing helps to remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gumline. As an added bonus, if superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of the scaling and root planing procedure.

Better breath

One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis (bad breath). Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.

OASIS DENTAL CARE

For severe gum disease see a Periodontist.

We offer a wide range of procedures to help you get the perfect smile.

Periodontal Maintenance Appointments in Flagstaff

It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)! Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.

Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!

OASIS DENTAL CARE

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We offer a wide range of procedures to help you get the perfect smile.