Periodontal Care 101
Dentists, periodontists, and dental hygienists can all perform periodontal care. Periodontal care typically refers to preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal disease. Also called gum disease, this condition usually occurs because of poor oral hygiene. Smoking is also a major contributor.
Recognizing Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is an infection. The bacteria in your mouth can form plaque, which is a sticky film that adheres to the teeth. The plaque can turn into hardened tartar, which irritates the gums and lead to the infection of the tissue. Periodontal disease grows progressively worse the longer it’s left untreated. During the initial stage, you might notice symptoms like:
- Puffy, red gums
- Tenderness of the gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
As periodontal disease becomes more severe, the symptoms can include:
- Gums pulling away from the teeth
- Persistent bad taste in the mouth
- New spacing between teeth
- Loose teeth
It’s possible to eventually lose teeth because of gum disease.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
If you have a dental exam every six months, your dentist can detect periodontal disease before it progresses too far. Don’t hesitate to schedule an extra appointment if you notice any unusual changes with your mouth. During your appointment, the dentist or hygienist can use a special tool to measure the pockets between the gums and the teeth. Large pockets are indicative of gum disease. The dentist will also visually examine your gums for signs of gum disease.
Treating Periodontal Disease
If you do have gum disease, the treatment depends on how advanced it is. For patients in the early stage of gum disease, scaling and root planing can be effective. This is a deep cleaning technique. You’ll also need to improve your oral care at home, and if you’re a smoker, you should quit. If your gum disease is too advanced to be treated by scaling and root planing, your dentist may recommend pocket reduction and gum graft surgery.
Periodontal care is one of our specialties here at Glenwood Premier Dental. Our friendly dentists and hygienists can expertly diagnose gum disease and recommend an appropriate course of treatment for you. Call (732) 264-4477 to request an appointment for gum disease treatment in Hazlet.