What is Periodontal Disease?
It’s kind of important to understand any disease that affects approximately 95 % of the adult population. Periodontal Disease is a disease of pockets. A pocket is the space between your gum tissue and the root of your tooth. This space tends to trap bacteria which can cause all kinds of problems if left to their own devices. These pockets are analogous to sending your pants to the dry cleaners. Invariably, some of the lint in your pants pockets is left after the dry cleaning process. Periodontal pockets tend to trap bacterial plaque much the same way. The dry cleaner’s chemicals can not reach all the way down into the deep recesses of your pant’s pockets. Well, neither can your toothbrush reach into your periodontal pockets to get at those incredibly damaging bacteria. It is the job of the periodontist to reduce your pocket depths to make them more accessible for cleaning.
What causes Periodontal disease? Bacterial plaque! Plaque is simply defined as an organized group of bacteria which causes inflammation and ultimately the destruction of gum tissues and bone. Of course, there are other causative factors such as nutrition, genetics, smoking, missing teeth, poor occlusion (bite), and various systemic diseases. Bacterial plaque, however, is the primary cause of Periodontal Disease.
What are the symptoms?
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive formation of calculus leading to swelling gums
- Gum Abscesses
- Drifting or loosening of teeth resulting in opening up of spaces between teeth.
- Noticeable mouth odor
- Reddening of the gum tissue around teeth
Periodontal Disease starts with gum inflammation and if not corrected early can gradually extend below the gum line to the bone that lies beneath. As more bone is destroyed, teeth become increasingly more mobile. The time to treat is obviously at the first sign of inflammation.
Do you have a pleasant taste in your mouth? Are the soft tissues around your teeth comfortable and free from bleeding? Are your teeth FIRM? Will they stay that way? If you answered NO to any of these questions, you need PERIO! If you answered YES to any of these questions and want to stay that way, Periodontal Maintenance may just be what the doctor ordered.
Soft Tissue Management
Over the past several years we have formulated a Soft Tissue Management Program which is specifically designed to assist you in maintaining your periodontal health. The goal of this program is to control the bacteria that cause the infection. Through root planning (the mechanical removal of plaque and calculus in the office) proper home care techniques are essential for successful periodontal therapy and good oral health.
Exactly how does Soft Tissue Management work?
- The Initial Phase consists of patient education in proper oral hygiene techniques. Without a strong foundation, a house can not stand for long!
- The Treatment Phase involves the removal of all causative factors and may include correction of bone and gum defects by surgical or non-surgical means, correction of malocclusion (bite) problems, and the replacement of missing teeth in order to re-establish proper form and function.
- The Control Phase begins immediately after the treatment phase. Once the disease process has been eliminated, it is your responsibility to seek regular preventative treatment. We are here to help at all times. You need only to ask! Our Soft Tissue Management Program is designed to instruct our patients in the techniques necessary to maintain a proper state of periodontal health. Sometimes it will be necessary to utilize the skills of a specialist, a Periodontist. In coordination with the periodontist, your dental team will do all it can to insure your predictable periodontal health. If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of your dental care, please let us know.