Periodontal Disease, also known as Gum Disease, is an infection that damages the tissues and bone supporting the teeth. Bacteria and other harmful microorganisms attach to the surface of the tooth and remain in the pockets surrounding the tooth, causing a hard calculus to build up. As a result, the immune system reacts and toxins are released, thereby causing inflammation. Without treatment, the alveolar bone around the teeth is slowly and progressively lost. For other preventative care services, click here.
It is important to remove the harmful bacteria and microorganisms that causes periodontal disease. In order to restore periodontal health, a hygienist will break up the plaque and calculus using a specialized technique called scaling and root planing. Depending on how much buildup there is, this may take one or two visits.
During your visit, a full periodontal chart will be completed in order to measure the pockets between the tooth and gums. In addition, x-rays will help to evaluate bone loss caused by periodontal disease. The combination of these two records help to determine if scaling and root planing treatment is recommended.
If you do not have pocketing greater than 4 mm and/or radiographic bone loss, scaling and root planing is not recommended. A prophylaxis, or normal, cleaning would be recommended.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingiva (gums) and is seen in patients who do not brush or floss as often as they should. Signs of gingivitis include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, inflammation, sensitive gums, and redness of gums or mouth. However, gingivitis is reversible by regular flossing, brushing, and routine dental cleanings and exams. If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress into periodontal disease, which is not reversible.
Our focus is to take care of your entire mouth. With the increasing evidence of a link between oral health and overall body health, we strive to look beyond teeth. At Orchard Family Dentistry in Centennial, we recommend that our patients brush their teeth twice daily (once in the morning, once before bed) and floss once daily as well.