Periodontal care is a vital aspect of your overall health maintenance and here at Woodcreek Dental, we specialize in providing the preventative and diagnostic measures needed to facilitate this. This care is focused on the gums and the bone that supports the tooth. When plaque builds up and is not removed, it hardens over time to form tartar or calculus. The bacteria in tartar produce acids that eat away at the gum and bone.
With time, the periodontal disease then sets in and produces symptoms of inflamed, irritated, receding, and bleeding gums. At its worst, affected teeth may begin to loosen and may eventually be lost, with moderate to severe bone loss occurring.
The main challenge in tackling this disease is that most people who develop it do not even know they have it. This is because it remains painless until it is well advanced. As many as half of all adults suffer periodontal disease and are unaware of it. The estimated number increases to over 70% amongst seniors.
At its earliest stage, periodontal problems present with gingivitis. This is where there is plaque buildup, and the bacterial acids produced begin to irritate the gums. They may begin to feel tender and inflamed, with a little bleeding. The second stage is periodontitis, where plaque begins to harden into tartar. Deep pockets of bacteria form between the gums and the tooth, and the gums recede. More intense irritation, inflammation, and bleeding are experienced. Infections also become common due to the increased bacteria activity, and pus builds up.
With advanced periodontitis, the gums and bone begin to weaken. Periodontal ligaments also deteriorate, causing the teeth to come loose. They help to support the tooth to the bone. Even with the slightest of impacts, teeth can even begin to fall out. You may also begin to see more spacing between teeth as bone loss sets in. Persistent bad breath, caused by the bacterial action in the gums, also typically occurs. Increased tooth sensitivity or discomfort will also be experienced when consuming hot, or cold, food, and drink.
How to Treat It
Treatment of periodontal disease depends on what stage of the condition you are in. When in the early stages of gingivitis, one or a few cleanings should be sufficient to clear up the problem. We will also review your oral habits and advise on changes needed to reduce this plaque buildup. Scheduling of regular exams and cleaning will also be done.
In more advanced stages of periodontitis, deep cleaning actions will be required. Scaling is done to remove the plaque, tartar, and toxins present from within the deep pockets. Planing is also done to smoothen out the roughened parts of the root surface. These procedures help to heal the condition and shrink the pockets. Antibiotics and special mouthwash will likely be prescribed to clear up any infection and lingering bacteria. If the area does not heal after this, periodontal surgery may be required to access deeper pockets.
The best way to prevent periodontal problems is to ensure regular checkups and form the habit of proper brushing and flossing. To learn more about how to reduce your risk and treat any symptoms, get in touch with us at Woodcreek Dental at (805) 738-5566 today to book your appointment.