Periodontal care refers to oral healthcare relating to the gums and other tissues that help support your teeth, including preventive care for these structures. A lack of periodontal care can allow for the progression of bacteria into and under the gums, which can cause numerous problems with your oral health and your health in general. Unfortunately, a large percentage of individuals over thirty have some form of periodontal disease. However, gum disease is not only treatable, it’s highly preventable. That’s why Weissman Dental sees periodontal care as integral to preventive dentistry and your overall health and well-being.
Why Periodontal Care in Preventive Dentistry?
We provide periodontal care to help prevent our patients from developing gum disease, both the early stage (gingivitis) and advanced gum disease (periodontitis). However, preventive periodontal care also helps us protect you from developing other serious complications. Gingivitis first manifests as red, swollen, and/or bleeding gums. Chronic bad breath is also associated with gum disease, and periodontitis can lead to loss of gum tissue and tooth loss.
Your gums are an essential part of a network of membranes known as the oral mucosa, which is rich in blood vessels. This means that when your gums become infected or inflamed, infection can easily spread to other parts of your body. In turn, this can lead to inflammation and a lower immune response in your entire body. The buildup of bacteria that causes gum infections is known as plaque. As plaque builds up over time, it becomes harder and turns into what is known as tartar. While regular brushing and flossing will help keep plaque from building up significantly, only a deep cleaning in our office will remove severe tartar buildup.
What to Expect From Preventive Periodontal Care
Preventive periodontal care begins at home with regular brushing and flossing. However, when you visit our office for your routine exam, we include a thorough examination of your gums, as well as the areas of your teeth underneath the gums. If we find significant amounts of tartar or you have been experiencing red, swollen, or bleeding gums, we may recommend a procedure known as teeth scaling and root planing. This is an outpatient procedure in which we scrape plaque and tartar from in between your teeth and gums (scaling). This is followed by root planing, which involves smoothing your tooth roots with a scaling tool. This type of smoothing will help your gums reattach to your teeth. Once we’ve performed this deep cleaning process, you should be able to maintain the health of your gums with good oral hygiene habits at home. However, routine cleanings are also essential for preserving gum health.
Preventive dentistry involves much more than regular cleanings. It includes regular comprehensive exams focusing not only on your teeth, but also your gums, jawbone, and all the soft tissues in your mouth. The bottom line is that healthy teeth, healthy gums, and an overall healthy body go hand-in-hand. To schedule a thorough exam at Weissman Dental, please give us a call at (503) 274-2222.