Have you recently eradicated gingivitis or periodontal disease from your mouth and gums?
If so, then you are feeling good about your mouth and gums. Your teeth have no plaque and tartar and you won’t need to visit your dentist again for another year, right?
Many patients are not aware that periodontal maintenance is the only sure way to keep gum disease from returning. Periodontal maintenance is regularly performed at certain intervals after procedures such as scaling and root planing. Periodontal maintenance includes the removal of plaque and tartar, scaling and tooth planing and polishing. Your dentist will determine the frequency the periodontal maintenance is needed.
Available periodontic treatments include:
The prevalence of periodontal disease
According to recent findings from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of American 30 years or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans.
The Cause & Symptoms
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition (disease) that affects the hard and soft structures that support the teeth. In the early stages; it is referred to as gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen due to inflammation. This is the body’s natural reaction to the presence of harmful bacteria. The more serious form of periodontal disease, Periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth and supporting gum tissues are destroyed. The bone can be lost, teeth may become loose and eventually be lost.
Chronic Periodontitis, the most advanced form of the disease, progress relatively slowly in most people and typically more evident in adults. Inflammation as a result of a bacterial infection is behind all forms of periodontal disease. A variety of factors can influence the severity of the disease. Important risk factors can include but are not limited to inherited or genetic susceptibility, smoking, age, diet, health history, medications, and lack of adequate home care.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
Periodontists (Specialist) typically rely on a visual assessment of a patient’s overall oral condition, x-rays and charting of periodontal pocket depths. This determines whether or not the disease is present. All tests provide professionals with information to determine the appropriate course of treatment
Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments in conjunction with progression of the disease. Scaling and root planning or root surface debridement (the root surface of the teeth are cleaned). Patients can also be treated with a range of surgical procedures for treatment of severe periodontal disease and/or cosmetic reasons. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement and repair of dental implants.
Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease
Several Studies show that periodontal disease ins associated with heart disease. A cause-and-effect link has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal (gem) disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Researchers believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also aggravate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your cardiologist will determine if your heart condition requires antibiotic premedication before dental treatment.
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