Periodontal Maintenance Chandler AZ
Periodontal disease starts small. You might notice some redness or swelling in your gums. They may bleed when you brush. You may ignore these symptoms, writing them off thinking you were brushing your teeth too hard. These can actually be signs of periodontitis, which can significantly affect your health. When this happens, periodontal maintenance is needed to improve the health of your mouth and prevent more serious problems, like tooth loss.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an advanced stage of gum disease. It starts out as gingivitis, which only affects the gums. Plaque hardens into tartar, which is impossible to remove with regular brushing. Tartar pushes against the gums, causing irritation and inflammation. It allows bacteria to get under the gum line. As it progresses, the bacteria affect your teeth and jawbone, causing infections and destroying everything in its path. Your gums and bone begin to deteriorate and you could possibly begin to lose teeth. In the jaw, bacteria may enter the blood stream, which can lead to severe health issues such as heart disease.
In order to prevent these devastating problems, action is needed. The best course of action is periodontal maintenance.
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is the regularly scheduled cleaning of your teeth to remove bacteria as well as plaque and tartar buildup. On average, the treatments are done about every three months, but your exact schedule will be determined by Dr. Scholes based on your individual needs.
- You will receive a thorough exam at every periodontal maintenance appointment.
- The pockets in your gums, which are an ideal hiding place for destructive bacteria, are measured.
- The condition of your gums and teeth will be assessed.
- You will receive X-rays to determine the condition of your jawbone. X-rays can also reveal a lot about the extent of the disease.
- The hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Hygienists are able to clean in areas you may miss when brushing and flossing.
- An oral cancer screening will be performed.
- You will be given instructions on how to best care for your teeth at home.
- You will have an opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns about your oral health that you may have.
- If needed, Dr. Scholes will recommend you schedule a follow up visit with your general dentist.
There are a multitude of benefits involved in periodontal maintenance.
- It slows and reverses gum disease. It is only maintenance though, and not a one time, permanent solution. In order to continue to treat gum disease, you must continue receiving periodontal maintenance cleanings and also take care of your oral health in between appointments. Skipping periodontal maintenance cleanings or only receiving one or two per year can actually worsen the problem and lead to costly treatment in the future.
- It removes both plaque and tartar. Plaque is the white buildup you may notice on your teeth. It also feels sticky. Plaque helps bacteria to stick to your teeth, aiding it in causing decay. Tartar is hardened plaque, and this cannot be removed by any amount of at home brushing. It can form both above and below the gum line and requires dental tools to remove it.
- Because tartar is removed, inflammation and irritation are greatly decreased. Swelling and redness begin to dissipate.
- It gets rid of food particles that may have found their way below the gum line, providing food for bacteria to thrive.
- It can help save your teeth from falling out, which can happen for any number of reasons from recessed gums to poor bone strength.
- It reduces the depth of the pockets in your gums.
- It gives you a boost of confidence. You will have cleaner, healthier teeth, and therefore a better smile.
- It helps to freshen your breath. Bad breath is a symptom of advanced gum disease. This is because food particles have gotten trapped below the gum line and begun to rot. Infection can also be the source of poor breath. By cleaning these things out, your breath will have a tremendous improvement.
- It can help identify other health issues. As part of the cleaning procedure, you will receive a complete oral examination. Many health issues often show themselves early as symptoms within the mouth, such as heart disease, diabetes and oral cancer. You may not notice some of these symptoms because of periodontal disease. Dr. Scholes will evaluate your mouth to distinguish periodontal issues from issues related to another health problem.
In Between Maintenance
Your general dentist and Dr. Scholes will determine how often you should receive periodontal maintenance. Usually, it is recommended that these appointments be alternated between Doctor Scholes and your general dentist. In between each visit, you should continue to care for your teeth to help improve the condition of your mouth.
Always brush your teeth at least twice a day. This helps to remove plaque build up as well as any left over food particles that may be stuck. Flossing daily also aids in this endeavor. Using mouthwash will kill oral bacteria and help to wash away everything you have removed from your teeth.
Eating a healthy diet can also help the condition of your teeth and gums. Calcium rich foods, such as dairy, can help strengthen teeth and bone. Dark leafy greens provide you with essential vitamins and minerals. And there are a whole host of foods that can help fight bacteria and ease inflammation. These foods include garlic, onions, turmeric, ginger, and honey. A healthy, nutritious diet can also help speed up recovery time.
Periodontal disease can be devastating to your whole body health, not just that of your mouth. At Scholes Periodontics and Implant’s Doctor Scholes is dedicated to improving your health. He can help you stop the progression of gum disease, helping you to get your life back and saving your teeth. If you are suffering from gum disease, call today to schedule an appointment.