Periodontal Disease and Prevention
Three out of four adults are affected by periodontal disease or periodontitis. This infection is often referred to as gum disease. Once the process of periodontitis has begun, the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold our teeth in place begins to deteriorate. Without professional intervention and treatment, periodontitis will quickly lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a colorless film which sticks to your teeth and gum line. If not carefully removed, this plaque will harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus or tartar. The bacteria found in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums, causing them to redden, swell and bleed easily. These toxins and the infections they cause, lead to periodontal disease.
How to Prevent Periodontitis
Lack of proper tooth and gum care is the number one cause of periodontal disease. Because plaque is constantly forming on your teeth, brushing and flossing is vital in the prevention of periodontal disease. Daily cleanings partnered with regular dental hygiene appointments are the best way to prevent periodontal disease from forming.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, the vast majority of people will develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease begins, professional intervention is always necessary to prevent it from progressing. Other factors may contribute to the acceleration of periodontitis. For example, patients who smoke have a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can be difficult to self-diagnose because it is painless. Many patients are unaware they suffer from it until a dental professional brings it to their attention. Early signs of periodontal disease are red and swelling gums. Advanced periodontitis may lead to loose teeth or tooth loss and if left untreated, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and other serious health conditions.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Pacific Northwest Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. Our number one goal is for patients to keep as many of their natural teeth as possible. If you’ve developed periodontitis, you may have several treatment options. The most common is a series of deep cleanings. In more severe cases, some patients may require surgery.
Before we decide which type of periodontal treatment is appropriate for you, we’d like to meet you in person! To schedule an examination today, contact a Care Coordinator at 206-575-1086.
Still Curious? Click here for frequently asked questions on Periodontal Disease.
Scaling and Root Planing
This deep cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar deposits from below the gum line and down to the roots. Periodontal scaling and root planing is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe.