Dentist in Portland, OR
Periodontics is a dentistry specialization that is focused on periodontal disease, including treating, diagnosing, and preventing it. It also involves placing dental implants and cosmetic periodontal procedures. Periodontal care is mainly involved with dealing with periodontal disease. Everyone needs to understand basic periodontal care so they can prevent periodontal disease. Here at Pacific Woods Dental, we can teach you the basics of periodontal care and provide you with treatment options if you find yourself dealing with periodontal disease.
When Is Periodontal Care Needed?
Periodontal care is a necessary part of oral hygiene. Periodontal disease mainly affects the gums at first, but if unchecked, it can spread into the bones that help support the teeth. When that occurs, it is very likely you will begin to lose teeth. One of the first signs of periodontal disease is gingivitis. This early stage of the disease can be recognized by swollen, red gums that bleed easily. If your gums often bleed when you brush your teeth, you likely have gingivitis.
Unfortunately, it is also often easy to put off calling us to treat gingivitis because the condition is painless. The amount of blood that appears on your gums when you brush may seem insignificant. It may also not occur every time. You may not notice any swelling in your gums or any recession of your gumline. Unfortunately, by the time you do begin to feel pain or notice loose teeth, it is likely that your gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis, the second stage of periodontal disease. At this point, your gums may be inflamed and irritated, and you may have even lost some bone mass. Periodontal care is a necessity at this point in order to prevent tooth loss.
What Does Periodontal Care Involve?
Periodontal care begins with a dental exam. During your dental cleaning, we will examine your gums for inflammation, irritation, and bleeding. If we see any signs of gingivitis, we will examine the gums further to determine just how advanced the disease is. We will then discuss your condition with you and form a treatment plan.
If you have gingivitis, several professional cleanings are often enough to remove the bacteria and plaque that has found its way into the pockets between your teeth and gums. Removing the bacteria will allow your gums to heal. While the cleaning you receive that day will help get the bacteria under control, we may need to have you come in for a second cleaning sooner than six months to make certain your gums are healing and that the gingivitis has not progressed. We will also talk to you about your daily brushing and flossing habits. You may need to improve those habits in order to prevent gingivitis from returning.
If your periodontal disease has progressed, we will do a deep cleaning. This cleaning may need to be scheduled for a later date. We are likely to numb your mouth in order to do this deep cleaning because it does involve removing tartar and plaque from beneath the gumline. In advanced cases, you may need periodontal surgery to treat the deep pockets of bacteria.
Who Needs Periodontal Care?
Unfortunately, many people have gingivitis and do not realize it. This is why coming in to see us every six months is so important. We can diagnose early gingivitis and help you treat it so that it does not progress. Contact Pacific Woods Dental at 503-292-5483 today if you have not been in to see us within six months.