To keep your gums healthy, you must remove the plaque from your teeth every day with proper brushing and flossing. Regular dental visits are also important. Daily cleaning will help keep plaque and calculus, or tarter, to a minimum, but it won’t completely prevent it. A professional cleaning is necessary to remove calculus and plaque from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.
A routine recare or cleaning appointment may include:
1. Digital radiographs (x-rays)
2. Periodontal (gum) evaluation
3. Oral cancer screening
4. Removal of calculus and plaque
Gingival (gum) health is essential to good oral health. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, or periodontitis often goes undetected because often there are no significant symptoms that alert the patient to a problem. Complete periodontal charting is done at a patient’s initial appointment and at subsequent intervals.
The periodontal evaluation may reveal the presence of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease involves the break down of the bone supporting the teeth. Without this supporting bone, in time, the teeth will become loose and eventually be lost. The majority of adults over age 40 lose teeth to periodontal disease not tooth decay. The presence of periodontal disease will require a more aggressive approach to achieve optimal dental health. A deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing may be prescribed.
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. With proper gum treatments, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. It is important to have gum problems checked promptly as gum disease left alone may eventually need treatment through surgery.