Gum disease is a progressive disorder. It begins as gingivitis which is accompanied by inflammation of the gum tissue. Bleeding may occur after brushing and flossing. At this stage there has been no real damage done, the teeth are still firmly in place and the bone structure has not been compromised. Dentists will recommend that patients upgrade their home care routine and switch to an antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress to the stage of full blown periodontitis the stakes become higher. At this point, the gums will begin to recede from the teeth leaving “pockets” that can fill with bacteria and cause infection under the gum line. The bone mass will start to deteriorate and tooth loss will become more of a real threat.
The treatment at this stage will be a deep cleaning process that is otherwise known as “planing and root scaling,” which makes it sound a lot worse than it actually is. Once the plaque and tartar have been removed and the root ends smoothed over your dentist will most likely recommend that you have regular cleanings every 3 or 4 months instead of the usual 6-month intervals.
The only way to avoid the advanced stages of gum disease is to brush and floss as recommended by your dentist and to have regular professional checkups and cleanings. Ask for product recommendations and how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques during your appointment with Dr. Greene and the staff at The Dentistry Place in Denver.