From A Hygienist’s View
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums and bone. Risk factors include inadequate home-care techniques (brushing/ flossing), smoking, genetics, stress, age, diet, health history, and medications. When left untreated, periodontal disease (gum disease) can result in bone loss and loss of teeth. Studies have shown connections between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Periodontal disease is called a ‘silent disease’ because noticeable symptoms may not develop until the disease is in its more advanced stages. Symptoms include:
- Red, swollen, irritated gums
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or chewing
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when biting
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing, or tooth sensitivity
- Changes in the way removable appliances fit (dentures, partials)
Periodontal disease is diagnosed following a thorough exam, including review of medical history, x-rays, and periodontal charting. During review of x-rays, your dentist and hygienist are looking not only at the teeth, but also the underlying bone structure, looking for signs of bone loss. Periodontal charting includes measurements of the gums as well as a visual examination determining if there is mobility of any teeth, bleeding, or pus.
Once periodontal disease is diagnosed, a thorough ‘Periodontal Therapy’ style of cleaning will be recommended. A periodontal therapy appointment is usually longer than a typical dental cleaning and may be separated into two or more appointments for patient comfort and effectiveness. Following periodontal therapy, 3-4 month periodontal maintenance appointments will be recommended to maintain optimum oral health. The main goal of periodontal treatment is to control the infection, as it is currently impossible to cure periodontal disease.
From A Patient’s View:
“I started coming to Mountain Springs Advanced Dental after not seeing the dentist for over a year and neglecting my oral health. At my initial visit, I was presently surprised at the education the MSAD team gave me on what the process was going to be for my first exam. Although I went I expecting to get a normal cleaning, the Hygienist scanned my teeth and did a basic gum exam, where she found some beginning signs of gum infection and disease. I was extremely appreciative of this practice because instead of going through with a normal cleaning (learning that it would not help the infection), they educated and told me about their Periodontal Therapy. I was informed that this type of therapy is more of a “deep clean” getting deep into the gums to help remove the bacteria and start the process of repairing my gums from (what could have been) bad news.
The first therapy was on one side of my mouth, and I could not feel a thing. After a few hours after the first side therapy, I could feel the difference. I went back for my second therapy, and same thing!
I then went back for my exam and checkup after the therapies, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE we saw in my gums and there was a huge improvement I the amount of bleeding that happened when they were checking on my gums. I have been very pleased with the therapy this far, and I am so excited to see where my overall oral health will be as I keep visiting.”