Periodontal Disease: What can I do to reduce my risk?

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the biggest and most common threats to your oral health. Without periodontal treatment, gum disease can advance into a destructive condition that causes tooth loss, bone deterioration, and a chronic oral infection. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Dental professionals strongly encourage patients to adopt a thorough and meticulous oral hygiene regimen and visit the dentist twice a year.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Practicing proper oral hygiene is your daily defense against oral health problems. Brushing and flossing is important for removing the day’s debris from food and bacterial deposits of plaque, which can harden into tartar when left unremoved. Many people forego flossing because they believe that brushing is enough. Flossing must be done every day to clean between teeth and along the gum line where a brush can’t reach. If patients do not brush and floss properly, they will develop tartar buildup, which is a major contributor to gum disease.

What are symptoms of periodontal disease?

Symptoms of gum disease can vary depending on its stage. Early stage gum disease can be asymptomatic. Common symptoms include bleeding gums when brushing and flossing, recession of the gum line, tender and swollen gums, and loosening teeth.

What can my dentist do about gum disease?

If our team detects signs of gum disease, we will develop and recommend a periodontal treatment plan. Normally, deep cleanings called scaling and root planing are prescribed. Scaling and root planing are two procedures that are often performed the same day. Breaking the mouth into quadrants, scaling and root planing is performed in increments. These treatments involve removing tartar accumulation on and below the surface of the gums and then smoothing the roots of teeth to prevent the attachment of new tartar. Other treatments may involve prescribing antibiotics and surgical procedures.

To learn more about preventing and treating gum disease, call the office of Dr. Barry H. Buchanan to reserve an appointment!

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