Periodontal maintenance is an important part of your dental management plan. Small problems can be easily resolved in routine dental maintenance, which may become more difficult to resolve later on. Good periodontal maintenance can be best explained as:
- Preserving dentition by increasing the longevity of the support structures, the bones.
- Effective removal and prevention of plaque and tartar
- Actively working to reduce inflammation of the gum
- Prevention of gum recession
- Regular check-ups of the oral cavity for dental caries
Periodontal disease begins as a bacterial infection, also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, and it’s most common symptoms are swollen, tender gums that often bleed when brushing or flossing. You may also notice you have bad breath and also start to see your gums receding. As it becomes more severe, it can lead to a breakdown of the soft tissue and bone that supports the teeth; this is what is known as periodontitis. At its worst, teeth can be lost. Regular periodontal maintenance can halt this disease process, and prevent any permanent damage to your teeth and gums. In severe cases, where recession of the gums is profound, the bacterium that accumulates in the pocket near the tooth root can move into the bloodstream. People with severe gum disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease, and have more difficulties as a diabetic in managing blood sugar levels.
There are some risk factors that can influence the development of periodontal disease; inadequate dental hygiene, certain diseases such as diabetes and cancer, genetic predisposition, smoking, prescription and over-the-counter medications, stress and hormonal changes such as those seen in pregnant women.Regular periodontal maintenance is the best thing you can do for your teeth. In general, you could expect that a routine cleaning and examination would occur every three to six months. During this visit, we would take dental X-rays, thoroughly exam your teeth for cavities, and remove plaque, tartar and staining from your teeth. Common methods for plaque and tartar removal are tooth scaling and root planning. The scaling removes the plaque and tartar, whilst the planing is able to get down to the tooth root, removing the bacteria that causes the infection. It should be noted here that tartar is a build-up of plaque that has hardened over time; it cannot be removed – unlike plaque – with brushing alone. A local anaesthetic would be used during this process.
When it comes to what you can do at home, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing between your teeth regularly are your best defence. If you smoke, think very seriously about giving up. Depending on the condition of your teeth, we may also recommend other home-based treatments.
In summary, looking after your teeth is about more than just brushing, flossing and regular periodontal maintenance. It can have long lasting health benefits. If you are in need of a Cosmetic Dentist in the Sherman Oaks area, who can offer you the expertise and reassurance of quality dental care, our doctor comes highly recommended. His practice and highly skilled staff are committed to excellent dental treatment and are sought after because of this commitment to preventative dental care.
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