Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease that derives from gingivitis – the first step of gum disease. Unlike gingivitis, periodontal disease cannot be reversed, instead, it needs to be maintained and treated because it can end up becoming dangerous for other parts of the body if the infection spreads to the jaw for instance.
Patients who have periodontal disease may experience symptoms such as red or swollen gums, receding gums, loose teeth, and persistent bad breath. The gums can also develop abscess which are pockets of pus that are sensitive to touch. At River Run Family Dentistry we are experienced in working with patients who suffer from periodontal disease–this is what you can expect when seeing us for periodontal maintenance scaling.
Periodontal Maintenance Scaling
Periodontal maintenance involves both cleaning and monitoring a patient suffering from periodontitis. We remove built-up plaque and tartar that as accumulated both below and above the gumline–key areas where bacteria attack the gums. Plaque and tartar that has built up the entire length of the tooth up until where the root and bone meet is taken care of with rough patches being smoothed out to help prevent bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves – causing more damage. Pockets that have formed are also cleaned out. These pockets are critical areas where plaque and tartar form.
This procedure is required up to 4 times a year compared to the traditional twice a year for a typical check-up. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss if not taken care of.
What You Can Do In Between Visits
It is crucial to manage periodontal disease at home by practicing brushing and flossing habits every day. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste will go a long way in cleaning out built-up plaque. Flossing is especially important at this time and should be done once a day. We also recommend rinsing throughout the day. You can either use a saltwater mixture or your favorite ADA accepted mouthwash. The goal is to rinse out bacteria throughout the day.
Following these oral hygiene habits will slow down the build-up of plaque and tartar that accumulates in the formed gum pockets and deep between teeth. Because the damages of periodontitis are irreversible, it is critical to prevent any further damages that can cause even bigger problems such as tooth decay and tooth loss. We may also prescribe antibiotics to manage bacteria levels.
It is also important to not skip periodontal maintenance appointments when scheduled. You can do a lot at home to help prevent further damage, but periodontitis is a serious condition that requires the right tools and experience to manage.
Contact Us If You Need Help
If you are experiencing the signs of gum disease mentioned at the beginning. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment. At River Run Family Dentistry we are here to treat oral health problems and help you maintain a healthy mouth. You can call our office at 830-387-3040 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with us. We are looking forward to seeing and helping you soon!