When many people think about a healthy mouth, the main focus falls on the teeth. While taking care of your teeth is essential for optimal oral health, they are not the only factor. Your gums play many important roles in your mouth. Taking care of them is essential for ensuring that they function properly and that your mouth remains healthy. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD can help you to maintain optimal periodontal health to ensure that your mouth remains healthy.
The Roles of Your Gum Tissue
Your gums play many important roles in your mouth. Your gums form a tight seal around your teeth, protecting your roots, your periodontal ligaments, and your jawbone from bacteria. They protect the roots from irritants that can trigger sensitivity. Your gums work with your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone to keep your teeth stable. They also play an integral role in the quality of your smile.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal, or gum, disease, is a progressive oral health issue that can have dire consequences for your mouth and your whole body. When periodontal disease first begins, however, it does not seem all that serious. You may not even know that you have it. Bacteria irritate your gums, which triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system.
Swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of pockets that begin to collect plaque and bacteria. Bacteria continue to attack your gums from the inside, and eventually, reach your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. These support structures begin to weaken, and your teeth become unstable. With periodontal disease, you may be faced with gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Bacteria can even enter into your bloodstream, which can lead to serious health issues.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
There are several treatments available for treating periodontal disease. The exact treatment you receive will depend significantly upon how advanced your periodontal disease is. While the earliest stage can often be treated with prophylaxis, or regular cleaning, more advanced stages will require more advanced treatments. These treatments include:
|•||Scaling and root planing, or deep cleaning of the surfaces of your teeth both above and below the gumline.
|•||Periodontal maintenance. This is a treatment performed when scaling and root planing, or other treatments, do not yield the desired results. Regularly scheduled visits enable us to give your mouth the extra help it needs to heal.
|•||Pocket reduction surgery. This treatment is performed when pockets are too deep to clean with scaling and root planing.
|•||Osseous surgery. Osseous surgery is performed when bacteria have attacked your jawbone, leaving bony defects. With this treatment, we smooth the bone while deep cleaning your teeth.
|•||Soft tissue and bone grafting. Soft tissue grafting restores a healthy gumline following gum recession. Bone grafting is performed to restore missing bone mass and is often performed when the bone is too weak to support Dental Implants.|
Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Treating periodontal disease is essential for restoring your oral health, but to prevent the condition from occurring again, it is important that you take proper care of your mouth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition to taking care of your mouth at home, it is also important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. These steps will help you to prevent periodontal disease and other serious oral health issues and enable you to maintain optimal oral health.
Maintaining your periodontal health is imperative for maintaining the health of your whole mouth. If you have any questions or concerns about your periodontal health, call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD at (541) 389-0261 today.