Periodontal Disease Maintenance

Did you know periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults? Most people worry about getting cavities, but preventing gum disease from getting worse is just as important to your oral health. Periodontal maintenance is key to keeping your gums healthy. At Whittaker Dental, our staff is ready to provide the periodontal disease treatment necessary for good oral health.

Common Questions About Periodontal Disease Treatment

What exactly is periodontal maintenance?

This is when we clean the pockets around the teeth, removing buildup from the surface of the tooth. We also remove infection/debris from the tooth’s root. This procedure is one of the most non-invasive ways to treat gum disease and helps to ensure that gum disease is being controlled. By removing the plaque and tar, the gum tissue can heal.

Can periodontal maintenance be done during my regular dental cleaning?

No. This is a deep cleaning that involves two different techniques. First is scaling, which removes all the plaque and tar above and below the gum line. After that, root planning is done, which smooths out your teeth roots. This helps the gums reattach to the teeth. Sometimes patients need more than one visit for their periodontal disease treatment.

Is gingivitis the same thing as periodontal disease?

Gingivitis means gum inflammation and while the gums are irritated and may bleed when you brush your teeth, the teeth themselves are not affected. If gingivitis isn’t treated, however, it can lead to periodontitis. If a person has periodontal disease, there is an infection between the teeth and gums and the gums have pulled away from the teeth. If you have been told you have gingivitis, you can stop it from progressing to periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene.

I was told I had gingivitis when I was pregnant. Is that a coincidence?

There is a connection between gingivitis and many hormonal changes in the body. Gums can become more sensitive during when hormones change because of pregnancy, puberty, menopause and even monthly menstruation. All of this can contribute to the development of gingivitis.

I always brush and floss, how did I get periodontal disease?

Just as hormonal changes make gums more sensitive, some illnesses can affect the health of your gums. And, sometimes, it’s a result of your genetic composition. Certain illnesses that affect the immune system such as cancer and HIV, increase your risk of getting periodontal disease. Patients living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Other causes include smoking and some prescription medications.

Is there anything I can do at home once I have periodontal disease?

Yes, standard good oral hygiene can go a long way in preventing periodontal disease from progressing. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing daily. Sometimes patients find they can floss better if they use an interdental cleaner or an interdental brush. Ask the dentist if they recommend a mouth rinse to reduce the plaque between your teeth.