Your periodontal tissue, also known as your gum tissue, is an important aspect to the long term health of your teeth. Serving as the base for your teeth, if the base is not strong, the structure will eventually fall. Our team at The Center for Implant and General Dentistry can restore the health of your gums, and create a continuous plan of treatment and maintenance based on your needs. Dr. Clay Keith and Dr. Paul Denson can assist you in gaining the strength that you need for strong teeth and gums.
What is periodontal disease?
The soft tissue in your mouth that supports and surrounds your teeth is known in dentistry as the periodontal tissue. When this tissue has been exposed to bacteria from food debris, tartar, or calculus, it can become infected which is termed as periodontal disease. There are varying levels of severity of periodontal disease, all of which can have severe damaging effects to your teeth. The most severe condition is known as chronic periodontal disease, and as the name suggests, this is when the condition is not alleviated, and continues to rage with infection. The results of chronic periodontal disease can easily lead to the loss of your teeth, and is the number one reason for tooth loss in adults.
As infection rages, your gums attempt to take care of themselves by pulling away from the source of infection. This pulling away is not just pulling from the infection, but it is pulling away from your teeth. This is the formation of gum pockets. During your hygiene appointment, you will hear the hygienist call out numbers ranging from 1-7mm, this refers to the depth of the gum pockets. 1-2mm is considered healthy, 3-5mm is not and the hygienist may recommend scaling and root planing to decrease the pockets. Above 5 mm may require a treatment plan based on your needs. Dr. Clay Keith and Dr. Paul Denson will review your options with you.
Why are my gums unhealthy?
Your teeth are constantly exposed to bacteria. From the foods we eat, to the air we breathe, to even the constant natural development of tartar in our mouths. If we do not take careful, planned, and constant maintenance of our teeth, infection can arise.
There are several signs that you can visibly see to help you know if your gums are infected. Looking in a mirror, you may see that your gums are red, irritated, puffy, or even bleeding. Many patients believe that it is normal for gums to bleed a little when brushing or flossing, that is not true, healthy gums do not bleed.
How can I have healthier gums?
Healthier gums may require taking a closer look at your food choices, any possible medical disorders, medications you are taking and your dental hygiene habits. We may inquire about your technique, the brush and toothpaste you use, and review steps with you. Often times, a dental cleaning, or a deep cleaning through scaling and root planing, help put patients on the right track. Other patients may need something more intense, including a prescribed mouthwash, the removal of excess gum tissue, or other dental procedures. We can help design your treatment plan based on each individual and their specific needs.
Periodontal maintenance, meaning maintaining healthy gums, is needed to have and keep healthy teeth.