Your gums, or periodontal tissues, are an important part of your smile. Healthy gums are not only attractive; they also provide support for your teeth. Improper periodontal maintenance can jeopardize the cosmetics and function of your teeth and gums. Our periodontal treatments here at Calapooia Family Dental can help you maintain a healthier, more beautiful smile!
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection in your gums caused by the bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is a thin, sticky biofilm that constantly forms on and around your teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will eventually calcify into another substance known as tartar.
In response to the bacteria found in plaque and tartar, our immune system produces toxins. Unfortunately, these toxins also target healthy tissues, resulting in the infection we refer to as periodontal disease. Without the proper periodontal maintenance, this infection can spread to the connective ligaments and underlying jawbone.
In its advanced stages, periodontal disease can cause irreparable damage to your supportive tissues. Ultimately, tooth loss can occur. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults in the United States.
The Important of Periodontal Maintenance
New research has shown your periodontal disease may affect your overall health and vice versa. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and other systemic illnesses.
While the exact link is still unclear, one theory suggests that the bacteria in periodontal disease can spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream. The inflammation associated with periodontal disease may cause inflammation in other areas of the body. It can also put a strain on your immune system, which increases your risk of developing illnesses.
Treating Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease can be broken down into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. The type of treatment we recommend depends on the stage of the disease. It all begins with a consultation appointment and thorough examination.
Gingivitis, the first and most common form of the disease, is also the easiest to treat. Most cases of gingivitis can be treated with improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine. At this stage, any damage to your gums is still reversible.
If the disease progresses to advanced periodontitis, you are at a greater risk for irreparable damage to the gums, connective ligaments, and supporting bone. At this stage, we may recommend a “deep cleaning,” also known as a scaling and root planing. This procedure may be the best way to get your teeth and gums back on track.
During a scaling and root planing, Dr. Summers or Dr. Hagerty or our dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup from all surfaces of your teeth. Once your teeth are properly cleaned, we will plane your roots (smooth out any rough surfaces). Planing your roots can prevent plaque, tartar, and bacteria from re-adhering to the teeth immediately following your treatment.
After your gums return to a pink, healthy state, good oral hygiene is crucial. Daily brushing and flossing can prevent a reoccurrence and improve your oral health. Routine appointments and professional cleanings are also a vital part of preventing a reoccurrence.
Schedule Your Appointment Now!
Protect or improve your periodontal health today! Call (541) 936-9222 to schedule your appointment now!