Comprehensive care to prevent periodontal disease, restore supportive gums and bone to optimal health
Periodontal disease is a serious chronic condition. At our office, we take proactive care to prevent and provide therapies to treat periodontal disease. Periodontal disease often referred to as “gum disease,” affects more than just the soft tissue of the gums. It attacks and damages the supportive bone beneath the gums. It is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss alongside tooth decay. In fact, it is the No. 1 cause of tooth loss among American adults.
Furthermore, studies have demonstrated the full-body impact of this devastating oral condition. Advanced periodontal disease has been linked to serious systemic illnesses, ranging from high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes and respiratory infections. Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) among pregnant women is also a risk factor for pregnancy and childbirth complications, such as pre-term or low birth-weight babies. Scientists have even implicated periodontal disease in developing cognitive decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
So, managing your risk of developing periodontal disease is about more than a healthy, attractive smile.
Gum Disease Prevention
At your routine examinations and cleanings, one of the things we look for is signs or symptoms of periodontal disease. If we determine that you are at risk for developing the disease, we may recommend that you see us more often as part of our prevention program, typically every three to four months. So, we can then monitor the progress of interventions with professional cleaning of the teeth and gum line by our dental hygienists.
A good home care routine is necessary when it comes to preventing periodontal disease. We’ll discuss your home care routine with you, look for ways to improve it and recommend products to keep your teeth and gums in great shape.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
If you have periodontal disease, we will work hard to keep the condition from progressing. Dr. Robertson will create a customized treatment plan that is right for you. This plan may include antibiotics, a deep cleaning alternative to the standard cleaning (“scaling and root planing”), or surgical intervention.
While undergoing periodontal disease treatment, you will likely be asked to return to our office more regularly than the typical six-month dental visit. These appointments present opportunities for us to regularly “deep clean” your mouth and to keep the disease under control with regular therapies and monitoring.
Red Flags for Gum Disease
Call our office immediately if it’s been a while since your last check-up. Without regular cleanings and examinations, it is possible that you could have developed periodontal disease without even realizing it. Don’t worry – we understand that many people forget to make dental appointments. Plus, dental apprehension and anxiety are shared by many individuals. We put patients at ease with gentle techniques and a kind manner. Keep in mind that early-stage gum disease is often “subtle’ or “silent,” it doesn’t produce any symptoms. Even patients with more moderate disease may think their gums and mouth are fine. Or they may attribute periodic bleeding or minor tenderness to something else. These characteristics make it even more important to visit us regularly.
Other signs that a prompt visit is in order include:
- Chronic halitosis (bad breath)
- Gum recession
- Red or swollen gums
- Blood on toothbrushes and floss
- Loose teeth
- Changes in how the teeth fit together (your “bite)
- Changes in how the teeth are positioned in your smile