Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed or swollen. Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums.
What is Gum Disease?
What is Gum Disease
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums that can eventually harm the tissue and bone that surround and support your teeth. Gum disease is primarily the result of plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that irritate your gum line as it builds up. Often, there are few noticeable symptoms of gum disease, and patients rarely experience pain. Gingivitis is a mild, early stage of gum disease that can still be reversed.
A prophy includes a series of procedures where plaque, calculus and stain are removed from all surfaces of the teeth above the gum line. This is done with hand instruments, ultrasonic scalers, and coronal polishing. Only a licensed dental professional is qualified to determine the need for oral prophylaxis. Only a dentist, dental hygienist or a trained dental assistant can perform the procedure.
A periodontal maintenance procedure (PMP) is defined as a procedure that is recommended following periodontal treatment (such as scaling and root planing) and continues at varying intervals, determined by the clinical evaluation of the dentist.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
These intervals can be as frequent as every two months and they can be extended as long as six months, depending on the patient. Keeping up your PMP interval is important because periodontal disease can recur without adequate follow-up. PMP includes removal of plaque and tartar above and below the gums, scaling and root planing of specific areas, and polishing. PMP is always completed following active periodontal treatment such as scaling and root planing or more extensive gum surgery.
A professional polishing or prophy removes only the soft sticky plaque and hard crusty calculus that is above the gum line on the crown of the tooth. Scaling and root planing is done to remove soft sticky plaque and hard crusty calculus that is loaded with bacteria, around and below the gum line on root surfaces. It is a method of treating gum disease when pockets formed around the teeth have a measurement of greater than 3mm and there is evidence of bleeding and tissue attachment loss.
Do you have gum disease? Do you have questions about gum disease or need to schedule an appointment? Give us a call today at (503) 601-0610. We can help you identify whether you have gum disease and provide treatment if you need it.