What is Periodontal Cleaning?
Unlike a routine dental cleaning which is a preventative, a periodontal cleaning is a treatment for periodontal gum disease. Treatment methods will vary depending on the disease type and how far the condition has progressed. Periodontal cleanings (treatment) range from a single one hour visit up to four one hour visits and the frequency of periodontal maintenance cleanings can range from every 3 to 6 months. We will know more after your exam.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal gum diseases are all started by a bacterial infection which attacks the gums, bone and ligaments that support the teeth and hold them in the jaw. Periodontal diseases are usually painless and may develop slowly or progress rapidly. Unless you have regular dental checkups you may not be aware you have a periodontal disease until your gums and bones have been seriously damaged. After age 35, gum diseases are the cause of most tooth loss.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis develops as toxins in plaque irritate the gums, making them red, tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated with routine dental cleanings and improved home care – daily brushing and flossing.
In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, toxins destroy the tissues that anchor the teeth in the bone. Gums become detached from the teeth forming pockets that fill with more plaque, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pockets and the higher your periodontal classification. Tooth roots are exposed to plaque and become susceptible to decay and sensitive to cold and touch. As periodontitis advances teeth lose more attachment as the supporting bone is destroyed and tooth loss becomes more likely. Bone loss can also affect the ability to wear a denture comfortably.
Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- System-wide diseases such as diabetes
- Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- ? Clenching or grinding your teeth which place excessive biting forces on your teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
If you notice any of the following signs of gum disease, see the dentist immediately:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
If you would like to learn more about treatment for periodontal disease we welcome your call or visit to Fisher Distinctive Dentistry in Port Orchard, Washington where Dr. Devin Fisher and Dr. Zack Bergevin look forward to helping you maintain a healthy smile!