Periodontal disease, or “gum disease,” is an infection in the foundation of the teeth. If the disease is not treated, it can lead to premature tooth loss. The most common cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene, specifically lack of flossing. Medical conditions, medications, diet, tobacco use, mouth breathing, and genetics can also be major contributors to periodontal disease. If not kept clean by daily brushing/flossing and regular professional cleanings, teeth can accumulate the plaque and calculus around the gum lines. The bacteria in the plaque and calculus are damaging to the gums and bone below the gums. Severe infections of the bone (perio abscesses) can present if the disease is not controlled.
Once patients have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is important to know that they must be treated periodically by one of our hygienists to keep the infection arrested. For patients who only have small areas of periodontal problems, our team of hygienists performs regular cleanings with special attention to those areas around the teeth that may be showing signs of bone loss. If the disease appears to have progressed to a more severe stage, the cleanings will be deeper to make sure that the root surfaces are cleared of the buildup. Our dental professionals will together decide how often the periodontal disease therapy should be offered to maintain health, based upon the stage of the disease.