Periodontal Disease & Your Health
Gum disease is important for several reasons. Yes, you must have healthy gums, because thats your mouth and teeth! But also gum disease has been linked to a number of other health problems. If you have gum disease, you increase your risk for:
- heart disease
- lung disease
- gastric ulcers
- pre-term babies
Caring for your gums is the best form of Preventative Dentistry!
Do I have Periodontal Disease?
If you suspect you have infected gums, you should come in for a consultation right away.
Normal gums are firm and pink in color.
If your gums are red or reddish, with some swelling, and a little bleeding, then we want you to come in to see us right away. These are indicators of early stages of periodontal disease and this is the time to start treatment.
If you do indeed have periodontal disease and you let it go and it advances, bone tissue will start to deteriorate and the gums begin to detach from teeth exposing the roots to decay.
Gum Treatment is Preventative Dentistry
The areas examined in our oral examinations include head/neck, jaw, mouth, teeth, gums, intra-oral/extra-oral soft tissues, and mouth cancer screening. We use the latest technology for your oral examination. We will also discuss home care techniques.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
The important first steps involve cleaning the teeth and and gum areas and getting any bacteria out of your gum areas. We do this with scaling and planing.
- Scaling – Tooth scaling is necessary when plaque and tartar are detected at or below the gum line. Plaque and tartar are then scraped off the tooth’s crown and root.
- Planing – In many cases after scaling, the tooth’s surface is smoothed by root planing.
- Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush using a circular motion along tooth surfaces.
- Brush each tooth individually! Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush use the same circular motion.
- Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back and forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor producing bacteria, or use a tongue scraper.
Wrap 18″ of floss around middle fingers. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving 1″-2″ length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth, and index fingers for lower teeth.