If you have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal (gum) disease, regularly scheduled supportive therapy is vitally important to your success in management of disease progression. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Following a course of active periodontal treatment and of periodic ongoing care at regularly prescribed intervals is essential. Because periodontal disease or infection can recur, continuous maintenance is absolutely necessary to prevent this periodontal infection from becoming active once again and from destroying what healing has occurred.”
The following treatment is included in your periodontal maintenance appointment:
- Evaluation of oral health to detect subtle signs of disease recurrence
- Appropriate debridement of teeth and gums (professional cleaning and polishing)
- Antimicrobial therapy to destroy difficult-to-reach bacteria as deemed necessary by the doctor
- Evaluation of homecare regimes and aids
- Oral health evaluation, including oral cancer screening, necessary dental films, and decay detection
- Recommendations based on individual needs as a result of medical and dental histories review
Scientific studies support the belief of experts that the most important aspect of periodontal treatment is the long term maintenance therapy. Individuals vary in their response to periodontal disease, and resistance to the disease varies at different times of life. When periodontal disease recurs following treatment, it may do so without signs or symptoms to the patient. Dr. Tauschek and his team of periodontal therapists are well trained in recognizing the very subtle signs that may signal detrimental changes. Ask Dr. Tauschek and your hygienist what frequency of care would be in your best interest for lifelong oral health.
Q: What is periodontal disease?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often times bleeding during brushing or flossing. If treated in a timely manner, these conditions can be reversed, preventing periodontal disease from developing. Periodontitis, however, is much more difficult to treat.
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even from a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t catch periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
According to Caesy Dental Education, “Ailments associated with periodontal disease include respiratory disease, pneumonia, strokes, ulcers, difficult-to-control diabetes, low birth weight babies, and infective endocarditis (a dangerous infection of the heart valves). Researchers recently discovered that this chronic infection in your mouth creates an open doorway for plaque bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These bacteria (streptococcus sanguis) may cause blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack.”
Q: My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
A: It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough “scrubbing” instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods or if it occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.
Root planing and scaling
This extensive cleaning treatment is provided by the hygienist for patients who have tartar, calculus, and bacteria buried below the gum line of the tooth.