Cleanings & Exams/Periodontal Treatment
Many people wonder if making it to their semi-annual dental appointment is really necessary. The short answer is – yes!
Good preventive care helps reduce your risk for certain illnesses and can help you achieve and maintain the level of excellent oral health that lets you look and feel your best.
Providing Your Medical History
Your routine visits are an excellent opportunity to tell us about any issues or discomfort you’ve been experiencing in your mouth. You’ll also want to give a detailed description of your medical history and come prepared with a list of any medications you take.
Knowing your medical history allows us to gain a better understanding of your overall health. After all, there is a systemic link between the health of your mouth and the prevalence of many serious health concerns. For example, periodontitis (advanced gum disease) is associated with heart disease, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and low birth weight in babies born to mothers with the disease.
Symptoms of some dental conditions may be so subtle that only a dentist can identify them.
During your visit, we thoroughly examine your mouth and check for signs of tooth decay. We also evaluate you for risk factors associated with illnesses like bone loss and periodontal disease. This way, potential problems can be identified in their early stages while they are easily treatable.
Your dentist will also check your bite and may take x-rays or recommend other diagnostic measures.
During your visit, we will clean your teeth gently and professionally. Our dental team meticulously removes hard-to-reach plaque. At this time, we may also give you tips on how to improve your at-home care routine, and your hygienist can show you proper procedures for brushing and flossing.
A thorough teeth cleaning not only helps improve your oral health but also makes them look great! A good cleaning can actually have a whitening effect on your smile. Your cleaning will leave you looking and feeling great.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth and especially under the gumline. The sticky plaque attracts bacteria and eventually turns into hard tartar. The tartar and bacteria irritate the gums and cause infection.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Brushing twice daily and flossing every evening using proper technique will help remove a lot of plaque. But you can improve your chances of staving off periodontal disease by getting twice-yearly professional dental cleanings from one of our excellent dental hygienists as recommended by the American Dental Association.
Other factors can contribute to and cause a predisposition to gum disease:
- Smoking increases your odds of developing gum disease. If you need help quitting, talk to your dentist.
- Diabetes and heart disease have both been linked to periodontal disease.
- Numerous prescription medications are known to cause dry mouth, which can contribute to gum disease.
- Illnesses that inhibit your immune system, including cancer, increase your chances of developing periodontal disease.
- Genetics also play a role. Gum disease tends to run in families.
Treating Periodontal Disease
How we address your gum disease depends a great deal on how advanced it is and how much damage it has caused. It’s important to treat gum disease, even in the early stages. Untreated gum disease will not only progress in your mouth but can also lead to health troubles throughout the rest of your body.
We can often treat mild gum disease with a renewed commitment to good oral hygiene habits and an antimicrobial mouthwash. Moderate-to-advanced gum disease may require a deep cleaning treatment known as scaling and root planing. During this treatment, we remove the tartar from below the gumline and get rid of the rough spots where bacteria tend to gather.
If you are concerned that you might have periodontal disease, don’t hesitate. Call our office today so that we can start your treatment.