The health of your gums is tied to the health of your entire body. Studies have found that periodontal disease puts sufferers at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and if left untreated, it can also result in tooth loss. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can address periodontal disease successfully and mitigate many of its risks.
Periodontal disease occurs when the gums suffer long-term inflammation due to the presence of tartar. This substance is a hard build-up that consists of calcium phosphate salt and bacteria. Its presence irritates the gum line, causing the tissue to swell and gradually pull away from the teeth or recede.
The first step in periodontic care is removing the build up that is the source of irritation. Tartar is too hard to be removed with a toothbrush and floss, and so a dental hygienist must scrape it away through a process called scaling and root planing. At a first periodontic care visit, the process may take time, as years of tartar may require removal.
As periodontal disease progresses, pockets of bacteria form around the teeth. Often, these must be folded back and thoroughly cleaned in order to eliminate infection. Following the therapy, a water pick may be used at home to apply hydrogen peroxide to the pockets in order to disinfect them. Brushing and flossing to remove the plaque that hardens into tartar is also of the utmost importance.
In some cases, oral antibiotics like doxycycline are prescribed by periodontists in conjunction with other periodontic care techniques. The antibiotics are used to decrease the chances of bone loss by decreasing the body's inflammatory response that occurs due to the presence of bacteria.
Returning diseased gums to good health requires both a periodontist's care and an at-home oral hygiene regimen. Randall L. Davis, DMD, PC can develop the ideal treatment plan to address periodontal disease that is custom tailored to your needs and provide you with the education that you need to better care for your gums at home. Call our office to schedule an appointment.