Periodontal care is an important part of your oral and overall health, but many patients tend to neglect this area. The term “periodontal” refers to your gum tissues that support your teeth, as well as the disease that affects them. Without the proper care, maintenance, and education you may find yourself facing periodontal disease. At Mid Valley Dental, one of our goals is to help you avoid periodontal disease, and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile!
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection that targets the gum tissues, supportive bone, and connective ligaments. This infection is the result of your body’s immune response to the harmful bacteria found in plaque and tartar deposits. Periodontal disease is broken down into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease. If you have gingivitis, you may experience gums that are swollen, red or tend to bleed easily. Luckily, gingivitis is easy to treat, and any tissue damage can usually be reversed.
If gingivitis is left to progress, you will ultimately experience permanent damage, such as bone loss or even tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. We call this stage of periodontal disease periodontitis.
How Do We Treat Periodontal Disease?
If you suffer from gingivitis, treatment is pretty simple and straightforward. Most cases of gingivitis can be reversed with improvements to your oral health care regimen. If we notice signs of gingivitis during your routine checkup, we will show you the proper way to brush and floss your teeth. Our dental hygienist will also perform a professional cleaning to remove as much plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth as possible. Good daily brushing and flossing can keep gingivitis and another dental disease at bay.
If you have periodontitis, we may recommend a procedure called a scaling and root planing. Sometimes called a “deep” cleaning, a scaling and root planing is usually the only way to remove significant plaque, and tartar buildup from the surfaces of your teeth and roots. During the procedure, Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS or our dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler. This state-of-the-art appliance uses ultrasonic frequencies to produce microscopic bubbles that implode on the surfaces of your teeth. These implosions break up the plaque and tartar, as well as kill off any remaining bacteria. Once we have completely scaled your teeth, we will plane the surfaces of the roots. By smoothing out the surfaces, we discourage plaque, tartar, and bacteria from re-adhering to the roots.
If the scaling and root planing are successful, you should notice a difference within the first few weeks. Your gums should firmly reattach to the teeth, and return to a pink, healthy state. If not, then we may suggest other treatments.
After treatment, be sure to maintain your periodontal tissues with regular brushing and flossing. Once you have had periodontal disease, the likelihood of it returning is high. To avoid future complications, schedule regular checkups and cleanings!
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you would like to learn more about periodontal care, call (920) 215-4160, and schedule your appointment today!