Daily home care of your teeth involves brushing and flossing as we all know.
It only takes twenty four hours for the plaque that is not removed from brushing or flossing to turn into calculus (tartar).
Over time if the calculus is not removed the bacteria that thrives in it can actually cause decay and gum disease.
There are several stages of gum disease, but it’s only in the last stage that pain is actually felt and teeth become loose. That’s why it is so important to have a thorough screening and exam for periodontal disease along with your dental cleanings to ensure the bone that supports your teeth stays healthy and free from infection and disease.
How is Gum disease detected?
We use a probe to measure the pocket death between each area of the tooth where we can establish a baseline and compare it to additional readings thereafter. X-rays also help because it shows areas of bone loss and sometimes visible calculus.
Are bleeding and puffy gums a sign of gum disease?
Yes, that stage is called gingivitis, and although it’s an early stage of gum disease it can progress over time and develop into later stages where the infection not only attacks the gums but also the underlying bone that supports your teeth. Once the bone is reabsorbed or lost through the infection process , it does not grow back. With out enough bone support, the teeth become loose and come out.
What do I do if I have gum (periodontal) disease?
It is essential if we notice areas that are affected with infection or certain stages of gum disease, that they are treated with periodontal therapy and then periodontal maintenance with the dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove calculus and toxins above and below the gum line and numb the area for comfort if needed. If the stage of periodontal disease is beyond our scope of treatment then a referral is given to one of our periodontist for further treatment. Normally, after this procedure there is minimal discomfort and the gum tissue heals nicely.