The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attaches the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen and bleeding gums.
Not only is the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits with St. Jacobs Dental Care can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
• Bleeding gums – gums should never bleed, even when you brush hard or use dental floss.
• Loose teeth – also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers
• New spacing between teeth – caused by bone loss
• Bad breath – caused by bacteria in the mouth
• Receding gums – loss of gum around a tooth
• Red and puffy gums – gums should never be red of swollen
• Discomfort – plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth
Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease with St. Jacobs Dentist
Diagnosis of periodontal disease is during a periodontal examination. This type of exam is always part of your regular dental check-up. A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal disease progresses, the pocket usually get deeper. We use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, and tooth mobility to make a diagnosis between gingivitis and periodontitis.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. We will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular dental cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instruction on improving your daily oral hygiene habits.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) will be recommended.
If pockets do not heal after scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. We may also recommend seeing a dental specialist – periodontist.
It only takes twenty-four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus. Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation. Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, you should maintain regular recalls. At these hygiene appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning, your appointment will usually include:
• Examination of digital x-rays
• Examination of existing restorations
• Examination of teeth decay
• Oral cancer screening
• Oral hygiene recommendations
• Teeth polishing
Good oral hygiene and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control.
St. Jacobs Dental Care is always growing and accepting new patients. Whether you are new to the area or looking for a change, give us a call to schedule your dental appointment.
St. Jacobs Dental Care services the following areas: