Promotes Healthy Smiles and Healthy Bodies
Did you know that almost half of all American adults, and more than two-thirds of older individuals, have some form of gum disease? For most people, it is a mild condition that can be addressed with a few adjustments to their oral hygiene routine. For others, however, a dentist in Medford needs to step in and provide a more intensive treatment. We offer periodontal therapy to help our patients enjoy the benefits of healthy, happy gums.
What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria sneak beneath the gum line, causing the tissue to become inflamed. The mildest form of this condition, gingivitis, is often characterized by tender, swollen, and discolored gums that bleed easily. When the disease progresses from gingivitis to periodontitis, patients may suffer from chronic bad breath, loose teeth, tooth loss, and other serious symptoms.
The consequences of gum disease go beyond the mouth. Various studies have shown that the bacteria that causes this condition can sneak into the bloodstream and wreak havoc across the body. In fact, gum problems are often associated with heart disease, stroke, dementia, preterm birth, and respiratory illness.
How Periodontal Therapy Works
The term “periodontal therapy” is an umbrella phrase that refers to any treatment that aims to fight gum disease. The most common type of periodontal therapy is known as scaling and root planing, which is basically an intensive, deep-cleaning of the mouth. If you need this procedure, you can expect it to go something like this:
- We’ll numb the area around your gums so you’re comfortable throughout the treatment.
- Using an ultrasonic cleaner, we’ll clear away plaque and bacteria, both above and below the gum line.
- We’ll smooth out the roots of your teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to cling to them.
- Your gums may be a bit tender after your procedure, but you can expect them to start feeling much better within a few days.
Sometimes, gum disease has progressed to the point where scaling and root planing isn’t an adequate treatment. Surgery may be necessary. If that’s true in your case, we’ll have a frank discussion with you about your treatment options and design a plan to get your gums back in great shape.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Gums
After your periodontal therapy, the last thing you want is for gum disease to sneak back up on you. Following these easy tips will greatly reduce the chances that you’ll have periodontal problems again in the future:
- Stick to a thorough oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use an antibacterial mouth rinse.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
- Avoid the use of all tobacco products.
- Stick to a healthy diet.
- If you have diabetes or other conditions that affect your immune system or cause dry mouth, do your best to manage them.
How are your gums doing? If you suspect you may need periodontal therapy in Medford, contact our office to schedule a checkup.