“I have always had bleeding and am being told today that I have gum disease. Why all of a sudden am I being told this?”
Recent studies have shown that the bacteria that is found orally in gum disease contributes to systemic diseases such as heart disease (high blood pressure), diabetes, respiratory infections, cancers, erectile dysfunction, low birthweight babies, preterm labor, fertility issues, Alzheimers and arthritis. Our patients deserve to be informed of their risk for these diseases and educated about the role their oral health plays in their overall health.
What are the different procedures and why do they matter?
This is a procedure that occurs in a healthy mouth free from bleeding and infection, without periodontal (gum) disease. This deposit and stain removal occurs on teeth that have not been affected by bone loss and occurs on the crowns of the teeth (the surfaces of the teeth above the gumline).
Root Planing and Scaling
This procedure removes toxins and deposits from the tooth roots. This is the first step to treating gum and bone disease (periodontal disease). Gum tissue may appear swollen, red, and bleed. In some cases you may not have any uncomfortable symptoms but only have symptoms that dental professionals see at your dental assessment appointments. It is common to not see bleeding at home because home care implements such as toothbrush bristles and floss cannot reach into the deeper pockets around your teeth where the bacteria resides. This disease cannot be ‘cured’ with a toothbrush or a piece of string. It is a bacterial infection that needs medical attention by dental professionals. This procedure requires several appointments for thorough debridement.
This type of cleaning is one that occurs after active Root Planing and Scaling therapy. It occurs at more frequent intervals to help you maintain the increased health you acquired after the root planing and scaling procedures. Since periodontal disease is episodic there may be times where the disease becomes more active. At times additional therapy may be required. It is important to maintain your health at home and return to the dental office for maintenance appointments every 3 months.