Periodontal Disease Prevention
Periodontal (gum) disease is a growing oral health problem and one of the most common conditions we treat.
While periodontal disease is preventable with good oral hygiene habits, it can still develop. And the earlier we catch it, the easier it will be to treat.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth, especially under the gumline. The sticky plaque attracts bacteria and eventually turns into hard tartar. The tartar and bacteria irritate the gums and cause infection.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Brushing twice a day and flossing once using proper techniques removes a lot of plaque. However, even the most diligent brusher and flosser may have difficulty removing all the plaque, especially under the gumline. You can improve your chances of preventing gum disease with twice-yearly professional dental cleanings from a skilled dental hygienist as recommended by the American Dental Association.
But what if you brush and floss and get your regular cleanings like you are supposed to and still get periodontal disease? Other factors can contribute to and cause a predisposition to gum disease:
- Diabetes and heart disease are both linked to periodontal disease.
- Numerous prescription medications cause dry mouth that contributes to gum disease.
- Certain illnesses inhibit your immune system and increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.
- Genetics also plays a role as gum disease tends to run in families.
- Smoking, vaping, and using tobacco products also increase the risk of developing gum disease.
Treating Periodontal Disease
How we address gum disease depends on how advanced it is and how much damage it has caused. Treating gum disease is important even in the early stage called gingivitis. As a progressive disease, delaying treatment will only allow further damage to the teeth and the bones and ligaments that support them.
Treating mild gum disease requires a renewed commitment to good oral hygiene habits and daily use of an antimicrobial mouthwash. Treatment for moderate-to-advanced gum disease may involve a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. Our hygienist removes tartar buildup from below the gumline during this treatment and smooths rough spots where bacteria gather.
If you are concerned that your child might have periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to call us to schedule an appointment and provide treatment if needed.