What is Periodontal Care?
The gums and other supporting structures are maintained and treated as periodontal care. It involves preventative measures to keep the gums healthy and treatments for gum disease or other periodontal conditions. Our cosmetic and restorative dentist in Philadelphia, Dr. Razavi, provides periodontal care.
Indications for Periodontal Care
Periodontal care is essential for maintaining healthy gums and preventing or treating gum disease. Indications that you may need periodontal care include:
• Red, swollen, or tender gums
• Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
• Loose or shifting teeth
• Halitosis (bad breath)
• Gingival recession causes teeth to appear longer
• Teeth start to drift.
You need to set up a consultation with a dental expert for a diagnosis if you experience any of these signs.
Steps Involved in Periodontal Care
The steps involved in periodontal care may vary depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of their condition. The general steps involved in periodontal care include the following:
Evaluation and Diagnosis: The first step in periodontal care is to evaluate the overall health of your gums and diagnose any periodontal conditions present. This typically involves a comprehensive exam, including X-rays and measurements of the gums’ pocket depths.
Scaling and Root Planing (SRP): If you have a gum problem, the next step is typically a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. This involves removing plaque and tartar from teeth and below the gum line and smoothing out the tooth’s roots to remove any bacteria or toxins that have built up.
Periodontal Surgery: If your gum disease is severe, you may need periodontal surgery to remove infected tissue or reshape the gums to support your teeth better.
Maintenance: After treatment, it’s essential to maintain proper periodontal care to prevent gum disease from returning. This typically involves regular dental checkups, professional cleanings, and at-home oral hygiene practices.
Why is Periodontal Care Necessary?
Periodontal care is required because gum disease causes irreversible bone and soft tissue damage that could have been avoided with proper oral hygiene. Severe periodontitis leads to teeth loss, and they are at significant risk of losing them. Gum disease can be reversed with a minimally invasive cleaning if detected and treated early (gingivitis). Unfortunately, when gum disease continues, it causes substantial damage, tooth loss, and costly and invasive treatments.
Gum disease increases the chance of several other significant health disorders, including diabetes, heart and kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, asthma, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Aftercare for Periodontal Treatment
After undergoing periodontal treatment, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene and follow any specific aftercare instructions provided by your dental professional. Here are some general tips to help keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease from returning:
Brush and Floss Daily- Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing your teeth at least once daily is recommended to remove plaque and debris between your teeth and under the gumline.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash– According to the American Dental Association, antibacterial rinses can help reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. Talk to your dental professional about which mouthwash is best for you.
Quit Smoking- Smoking harms your heart and lungs and can damage your teeth and gums. For example, smokers are seven times more likely than nonsmokers to develop gum disease, and smoking can interfere with the healing process after periodontal treatment. Stopping smoking can lessen your risk of developing gum disease and other health issues while also improving your overall oral health.
Manage your stress levels- Stress can make fighting infection difficult for your immune system. When you are under less stress, your body will fight infection better. To reduce stress, incorporate relaxation exercises into your daily routine.
Eat a Balanced Diet- Gum disease can be avoided by eating a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This helps support good dental health.
Attend Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings- Frequent dental cleanings and examinations can help detect and treat gum disease before it worsens. Also, if you have a history of gum disease or are at a higher risk, your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings.
Periodontal care is essential for maintaining healthy gums and preventing gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste (fluoride helps remineralize the teeth) and flossing regularly. Visiting your dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning is recommended.