While you may think that some loss of teeth is inevitable with aging, it is actually possible for all of your teeth to last a lifetime. One of the ways you can achieve this goal is to avoid periodontal disease (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth), which is caused by bacteria that attack the tissues around the teeth. Unfortunately, you may not even realize you have gum disease as the signs and symptoms are not always as apparent to you as they are to a dental professional.
Nearly all people who do not maintain good daily oral hygiene will develop gingivitis. If left untreated, this bacterial gum infection can progress from gingivitis (“gingival” – gum; “itis” – inflammation) to periodontitis, which results in bone loss around your teeth. As the bone tissue is lost, the gum tissues detach from the teeth and form little pockets that provide an even better place for bacteria to live — where your brush and floss can't reach. As periodontal disease advances leading to more bone loss, tooth loss can result. Part of this has to do with genetics, as periodontal disease tends to run in families.
The good news is that periodontal disease can be controlled, even at more advanced stages.
Your gum disease treatment will depend on several factors, including your personal health history and the stage of your gum disease.
In the very early stages - when it is gingivitis - you may just need a professional cleaning from your dental team. They can also give you some great advice and tips on how you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.
We highly recommend your teeth cleaned every six months.
Don't wait - schedule your appointment with Aleris Dentists now and support your teeth!
If your gum disease is beyond gingivitis, you may need a special deep cleaning called scaling (SCAY-ling) and root planing (PLAY-ning).
During your appointment, your dentist will carefully remove plaque and tartar down to the bottom of each pocket. That's the scaling part of the cleaning.
The next step is to clean and smooth your tooth's root surfaces. Smoothing the surfaces helps your gums heal and reattach to the tooth, shrinking the pocket depth. This is the root planing part of the deep cleaning.
Keep Your Gums Healthy after Treatment
Once your gum disease is under control, it is very important for you to get dental care on a consistent basis. The type of professional cleanings recommended after your treatment are called periodontal maintenance care. These cleanings are more extensive than the standard cleaning and will help you keep your gums healthy.
You will need to clean your mouth every day at home, but that isn't enough to control your gum disease. Professional care is also needed to help make sure that your mouth continues to get healthy. Your periodontal maintenance involves cleanings that are deeper than a normal cleaning in the dental office.
It's important to follow your periodontal maintenance care. You have a better chance of keeping your teeth if you do. Your gum disease may get worse if you don't!