Taking good care of your oral health isn’t just about having pretty, white teeth. While having a beautiful smile with straight, even teeth is important, taking good care of your entire mouth – including your gums – is vital to ensure you have healthy teeth, gums, and bones in your mouth. Employing a diligent dental regimen with regular brushing and flossing can not only preserve your teeth, but it can also help ward off gum disease and systemic inflammation and illness in the rest of your body.
Here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry we like to take a thorough approach to prevent gum disease in our valued patients to ensure their oral health. This includes periodontal maintenance, a more advanced cleaning procedure; we employ to help ward off gum disease and better protect the teeth and gums from infection.
Why Do I Need Periodontal Maintenance?
Early-stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, occurs when the sticky bacterial residue known as “plaque” forms around the gingival tissue of your mouth. The toxic byproducts of the bacteria can quickly lead to infection and inflammation of your gums, causing gum disease.
Fortunately, when gum disease is still at its earliest stage, it’s entirely reversible with virtually no lasting repercussions. Signs of gingivitis include:
|Red, swollen, irritated gums
|Sour, metallic taste in your mouth
|Bleeding when you brush and floss
|Bad breath (halitosis)
Regular dental appointments and good oral hygiene are key to preventing gingivitis from progressing into advanced periodontal disease. Because this disease is often pain-free, remaining vigilant on your brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups can keep it at bay.
Make sure you brush and floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash. To brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush at a 45-degree angle for two minutes, twice per day. Floss using an 18-inch length of floss and gently work the floss up under the gumline. For each tooth, use a clean segment of floss.
Once your gum disease has progressed, you will require more aggressive treatment against it. That’s where periodontal care comes in. We may advise X-rays during your appointment and, if a regular cleaning doesn’t seem adequate, we will recommend something called scaling and a root planing. That removes all the plaque from your teeth and shaves down the buildup from inside your gum pockets, giving your inflamed gums a chance to heal and re-affix to your tooth roots.
Periodontal maintenance is not a one-off procedure; depending on how severe your gum disease is, we may advise more frequent appointments to tackle and treat it. If there is an active infection, we may prescribe antibiotics to treat it. For gum recession that has exposed the tooth root, making your teeth vulnerable to loss, we may recommend gum graft surgery to improve the condition of your teeth and protect the tooth root.
Taking care of your gums isn’t just about aesthetics; research has shown that chronic periodontal disease is linked to heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. If you are noticing any symptoms of gum disease, do not delay in giving us a call here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry at (908) 647-4441 for a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. If we notice any signs of gum disease, we will work with you to start prompt treatment and start you on your own personalized periodontal maintenance regimen.