Periodontal Care and Maintenance
Gum disease or periodontitis occurs when your gums become infected. This infection will destroy the soft tissue that makes up the gums and can even begin damaging the bone beneath it. Over time, out of control gum disease can lead to bad breath, loose or lost teeth, and a loss of bone density. The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is typically easy to reverse with proper oral hygiene. However, if you reach advanced periodontal disease, you will need to come see the team at Everglades Family Dental.
Treating Gum Disease
We will often be able to see the early stages of gingivitis when you come in for your regular six-month checkup. We will do a deep cleaning to reduce or eliminate the infection. Once that is done, we will talk to you about how to prevent gum disease from recurring. Typically, this includes brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and reducing the amount of sugar you eat.
If your gum disease is more advanced, we will need to do what is called scaling and root planing. Scaling uses a special tool or laser to remove the bacteria and built-up tartar from your teeth and from under the gums. Root planing smooths down the surfaces of the roots of your teeth. This helps prevent bacteria from sticking to them, making it easier for the gums to heal and reduces the risk of inflammation. We may also give you some antibiotics to take to help kill the infection. If you have deep pockets left in your gums, we may need to place some antibiotic gel in those pockets to help clean them.
Periodontal maintenance involves protecting your gums from getting infected again. Typically, this means changing up what we do during your six-month cleanings. We will pay close attention to your gums and do an even deeper cleaning than normal to make certain all bacteria are removed and the gums are very clean. We may also need you to come in every three months or even more often in the beginning to make certain your gums are healthy. Once we know that your gums are fine, we can start putting more time between the cleanings.
While a deep cleaning and regular periodontal maintenance can help restore your gums to perfect health, it is much better to never need those cleanings. That means taking good care of your gums. You need to make certain that you brush your gums by holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Make certain that you floss all the way to the gumline to remove any bacteria stuck between the teeth. It also helps to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after you eat to help your saliva remove bacteria and food debris.
Your six-month cleanings are also a key part of periodontal care. While you may do a great job keeping your mouth clean, it can be impossible to get every part of your mouth clean every time you brush and floss. The team here at Everglades Family Dental will professionally clean your mouth at each checkup, removing anything you missed. If you need to schedule a cleaning, call (754) 764-0465 today.