Gum disease which is also referred to as periodontal disease is found in about half of American adults. Common symptoms and signs of gum disease are bleeding after brushing and flossing, swollen gums, teeth that move slightly when touched and bad breath. When gum disease is left untreated, the teeth are mobile, painful to chew with and look longer.
At the forefront of gum disease prevention is good oral hygiene. Thorough brushing and flossing removes the bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Smoking has also been shown to increase the risk of periodontal disease. Routine dental cleanings by a dental hygienist removes tartar and plaque in difficult to reach areas. Tartar is the yellow, rock-like substance found near the gum line.
Once a patient has gum disease, one of the first treatment recommendations is scaling and root planing. In our office, we often refer to this as gum disease therapy. This treatment is a very thorough dental cleaning that removes the tartar and plaque above and below the gum line.
Since gum disease is a lifelong disease like heart disease, frequent monitoring is crucial. Persons with heart disease or high blood pressure often see their physician every 3-6 months to ensure that the disease is controlled and not progressing. Similarly, most patients with gum disease require appointments every 3-4 months to remove the tartar and plaque that has formed.
We have very gentle and thorough dental hygienists at Lone Oak Dental and know that their expertise has helped countless patients!