Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums, is a condition that affects a surprising 20-50% of the global population.1 While gum disease is a relatively common oral health concern, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your physical and oral health when left untreated. For this reason, attending periodontal cleaning and maintenance appointments is a must to prevent gum disease.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
Gum disease ranges from milder and reversible cases of gingivitis to a more severe and difficult to treat form called periodontitis. Some of the significant signs and symptoms of gum disease include the following: 2
- Bad breath
- Shifted or loose teeth
- Receding gum line
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain and sensitivity in the mouth
What Are The Treatment Options For Periodontal Disease?
If gum disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, sometimes all that is needed to treat the issue is regular flossing, brushing, and dental cleaning appointments. However, suppose you are diagnosed with a more advanced case. In that case, the critical next step is to visit a periodontist to develop a treatment plan for your specific stage of periodontal disease.
Some of the most effective treatments that periodontists might recommend for patients after the initial diagnosis include:
- Deep Cleaning: in a scaling and root planing procedure, periodontists go underneath the gum line to scrape away excess plaque and tartar buildup and smooth out the tooth’s roots
- Medications: both antibiotics and medicated rinses can be prescribed in conjunction with scaling and root planning to combat the buildup of oral bacteria
- Gum Surgery: oral surgeries such as flap surgery or soft tissue grafts are a necessary treatment for more severe cases of gum disease
Three Ways To Help Prevent Gum Disease
If a periodontist has already given you a gum disease diagnosis, practicing oral care doesn’t end there. Playing an active role in your oral health well after the initial treatment will ensure that your gums remain healthy and healed. Here are our three best practices for preventing gum disease:
#1: Schedule Regular Periodontal Hygiene and Maintenance Appointments
Regularly attending periodontal hygiene and maintenance appointments with your periodontist allows your periodontist to watch your gum health closely. This prevents current cases of gum disease from worsening and spreading or milder forms of gingivitis from returning. While those with good oral health only need to attend dental cleanings every six months, periodontal patients typically have cleanings every three months.
Some of the tasks accomplished at a periodontal hygiene and maintenance appointment include:
- Using a probe to check the pockets around each tooth to check if the gums are maintaining a healthy pocket depth of 1 to 3 millimeters3
- Cleaning any plaque and tartar buildup around the teeth and in the pockets around the teeth
- In certain cases, medicating any pockets around the teeth that appear infected or inflamed
- Screening for oral cancer
- Discussing any necessary next steps for treatment
#2: Follow All Instructions From Your Periodontist
In addition to always attending your periodontal hygiene and maintenance appointments, it is essential always to follow the aftercare instructions and oral cleaning routines recommended by your periodontist.
#3: Maintain Excellent Day-To-Day Oral Hygiene
The best line of defense against gum disease is maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing twice a day to remove hard-to-reach food particles, and using mouthwash as needed.
Prevent Gum Disease Reinfection With Dental Implants & Periodontal Health Of Rochester
Don’t wait for your gum disease to worsen before seeking treatment with a trusted periodontist. Take control of your oral health with the help of Dental Implants & Periodontal Health Of Rochester. Contact us online or give us a ring at 585.685.2005 to get started.