Periodontal disease is an ongoing, degenerative infection of the teeth, gums and surrounding bone. It begins when plaque, the sticky film of the food and bacteria builds up. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar. The buildup of plaque and tartar dramatically increases the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth, and can result in deepening spaces between the tooth and gum (called pockets).The bacteria also trigger your body’s immune system to produce enzymes that destroy the bone around your teeth, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease cannot be cured; it can only be controlled. Periodontal disease does not go away by itself and treatment should be started as soon as possible.
If you have a history of periodontal disease, it’s vital that we examine the health of your gums every three months. When we first find periodontal disease, we treat it with scaling and root planning to remove plaque and infection from beneath your gums. While this treatment disrupts the growth of the bacteria, some bacteria do remain and may settle back into the pocket, where they begin reproducing again. In fact, once bacteria have become re-established in the pockets, the number of bacteria doubles every time it reproduces, reaching destructive levels in as little as 90 days. Therefore, more frequent periodontal treatments help us break the stronghold of bacteria in your gums, minimize the recurrence of the infection, and slow or eliminate its destructive effects.
Periodontal treatments include scaling and root planning. During the treatment, your hygienist will use floss, special designed cleaning compounds and instruments carefully and meticulously remove all plaque and calculus (tartar) around and beneath your gum line. For the stubborn deposits, ultrasonic scaling will be used, and your teeth will be cleaned effectively and comfortably. Your hygienist will also smooth the root surfaces to remove the source of infection and helps your gums heal. As they heal, your gums will tighten around your teeth.
Depending on oral health conditions, we may schedule your scaling and root planning over several appointments. Frequent scaling, root planning by dental professionals plus a good homecare are necessary parts of treatment to remove the infection and keep the disease under control.