Dental Prophylaxis & Cleaning
Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Are they tender, inflamed or discolored? Is your gum line receding, or your teeth looking longer? Do you have chronic bad breath? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you could have periodontal disease.
What is periodontal disease?
As a type of chronic infection, the progression of periodontal disease is as subtle as it is destructive.
- Plaque builds up along the gum line
- If not removed promptly, plaque hardens into tartar
- Bacteria and abrasion from tartar irritate the gums, causing inflammation
- Inflamed tissue pulls away from the tooth root surface, creating pockets that trap larger amounts of plaque and tartar
- The infection spreads to gum tissue, periodontal ligaments, and the underlying bone
- Erosion of these underlying structures causes teeth to become loose and eventually fall out
Maintaining periodontal health with Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings
Although it is usually preventable, periodontal disease remains the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. Of course, most people don’t choose to lose their teeth. They simply don’t notice, because the condition is usually painless.
Avoiding periodontal disease is not difficult, but it requires a commitment to oral health.
- Brush and floss – Take time to clean all surfaces thoroughly, with special attention to the gumline.
- Teeth cleaning – Professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar you may have missed.
- Dental checkups – The trained eye of a dentist or hygienist can spot signs of periodontal disease long before you would notice any symptoms.
Periodontics is an important part of our practice. If you think you might have periodontal disease, or if you want to begin a preventive care program to avoid it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nico today.