Periodontal disease is better known as gum disease.
When plaque and tartar are allowed to build up both above and below the gum line, periodontal disease can set in. The bacteria in the plaque and tartar cause inflammation of the gums and loss of bone from around the teeth. If the plaque and tartar are not removed you may eventually lose your teeth.
Many studies have revealed an association between periodontal disease and heart disease as well.
What starts as “gingivitis” or mild swelling of the gums can quickly progress to periodontal disease without proper professional and home care.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
If you have tartar buildup and your gums bleed easily you may have periodontal disease. We will take measurements of the space or “pocket” between your tooth and gums to determine if your gums are healthy. We do this exam on a regular basis.
Periodontal disease is painless so you may not even know if you have it!
If you have active periodontal disease a regular cleaning or “prophy” is not enough for you.
A deeper cleaning or “scaling” will need to be performed to remove plaque and tartar from under your gums. We use a topical or local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Four to six weeks later we polish your teeth and reevaluate to see how your gums heal. It is at this time we recommend a “perio” maintenance schedule or further treatment as needed.
You will need a regular home and professional care regimen to keep your mouth healthy. If the plaque and tartar are allowed to build up again, damage to teeth and gums will continue to progress.