Periodontal Disease: A Dreaded Diagnosis
If you lax on your oral care and don’t follow through with regular visits to your dentist, you may find yourself in a world of dental problems. One of them being periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a diagnosis nobody wants to get. Many people are told each year that they suffer from periodontal disease, but few fully understand what it means or what lies ahead. The root cause of periodontal disease is an infection in the bone below the teeth and gums, which is typically the result of a failure to brush and floss properly. The plaque and tartar that build up on teeth over time contribute significantly to periodontal disease: brushing, flossing, and regularly professional dental cleaning are very likely to prevent you from ever hearing the diagnosis of periodontal disease.
However, for some people, the advise to brush and floss regularly may be too late – if you’ve already been told you suffer from periodontal disease, you may be wondering “what do I do from here?”
The main contributor to periodontal disease is infection, and the main cause of that infection is the build up of plaque and tartar – that means the first step in treating periodontal disease is getting the plaque and tartar under control with a thorough cleaning. The removal of plaque and tartar with a thorough cleaning helps remove the source of bacteria, but the dentist or periodontist will likely also recommend periodontal scaling.
Periodontal scaling uses tools to scrape and clean the tooth below the gum line. Three types of tools are common – the oldest and simplest is a traditional metal scaler, which uses physical strength and leverage to dislodge plaque and calculus. Electric scalers are similar to physical scalers, but typically vibrate at a very high frequency, which not only helps remove plaque and calculus, but also creates tiny air bubbles that help fight bacteria. Finally, dental lasers can be used to remove plaque, with a side effect that the heat of the laser can help promote tissue healing.
Once the plaque, tartar, and calculus is removed, your dentist or periodontist will likely prescribe antibiotics to help fight the bacterial infection, and send you home to heal in peace and quiet. If you’re able to maintain proper oral hygiene going forward – with regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning – it’s likely that you will not need more invasive treatment to address the bone loss of periodontal disease. If you have questions about the process or prognosis, or if you believe you need periodontal treatment, please contact your dentist for an appointment.
If you haven’t been practicing good oral care habits at home and avoiding the dentist, now may be the time to see your dentist for a check-up. The best thing you can do for your oral health is preventative care.
For more information on your oral health call Blustone Dental at 817-337-0223 or visit the website at http://www.bluestonedental.net