Periodontist - Fight Gum Disease
Periodontitis is a term that refers to inflammation of the gum line and can be extremely painful or downright dangerous.
Bacteria and mucus mix in the mouth to form a sticky material called plaque. Everyone knows that daily brushing and flossing will help remove or reduce plaque, but we don’t always follow careful daily routines. When plaque remains on the teeth, it turns in to tartar. Unfortunately, no amount of brushing or flossing can remove tartar. Your periodontist and dental hygienist are the only people that can remove tartar from your teeth. As such, it is important to maintain regular cleaning appointments. Tartar contributes to inflammation of the gums that can harm teeth and cause pain. Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontitis and can often be reversed with frequent brushing and flossing, as well as thorough dental cleanings. If the disease progresses, it may not be reversible and permanent damage can ensue.
Consulting with a periodontist can teach you about the risk factors for severe gum disease and what steps you can take to prevent it from happening. Some of the common factors that contribute to periodontitis include smoking, hormonal changes in girls as they enter puberty and women as they enter menopause, diabetes or difficulties controlling blood sugar, certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, systemic diseases such as cancer and HIV, or even susceptibility based on your genetic heritage. Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss these risk factors and develop an action plan to reduce your chances of gum disease.
If you do develop significant gum disease, there may be several options for treatment. Your periodontist may perform deep cleaning techniques such as scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removal of tartar from above and below the gum line with invasive techniques like scraping. Root planing smoothes certain bumpy spots on the teeth. These bumpy spots can become gathering places for bacteria and may make you more prone to gum disease due to bacterial proliferation. In advanced cases, your periodontist may even recommend the use of a laser to remove tartar and plaque. Many tartar removal techniques cause swelling, pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Use of laser techniques greatly reduces these negative side effects.
Make an appointment with your local periodonist today to discuss your oral health and hygiene. He or she will be able to give you a thorough evaluation of your teeth and outline an action plan to help your teeth and gums remain healthy for years to come.
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