But Not the Kind You Eat
Did you know that almost 50% of adults over the age of thirty have a condition called chronic periodontitis? This is a dental illness that’s more than just gum disease; it affects a person’s entire mouth, including their jawbone. Chronic periodontitis causes gums to become inflamed, bleed and recede from the teeth due to a buildup of bacteria, plaque and tartar. Gaps form around the teeth as the gums loosen, and dentists call these gaps “gum pockets.” Although chronic periodontitis can happen to anyone, smoking, diabetes or a poor daily oral care routine and a failure to visit the dentist increases the chances of experiencing this dental complication.
How to Treat Periodontitis
Our Placerville dentists know how common chronic periodontitis is and how to treat it. At every exam and cleaning they do a “gum pocket check.” Each gum pocket is carefully measured and noted. The range is usually from one to five millimeters, where “one” essentially means you have worry-free gums and “five” means there’s an accumulation of plaque that needs professional intervention. With a regular flossing and brushing routine, its normal to have some twos, mostly threes and possibly a couple fours near the molars. With multiple measurements of 5 millimeters, the gum pockets are deep and in dangerous dental territory; your dental specialists recommend scaling and root planing.
Root scaling and planing is a very deep cleaning for your teeth to remove built-up plaque and tartar at the roots and along the gumline. This is an essential procedure for patients with chronic periodontitis and generally prevents further damage or bone loss. Some patients experience a little discomfort during the procedure, so local anesthetic is available to make your experience as comfortable as possible. You may even take advantage of sedation dentistry at our Placerville dental office, allowing you to “sleep” the procedure away. Afterwards, we may recommend Perio Protect to add bacteria-fighting medicine to your gum pockets, further accelerating healing, oral health restoration and maintenance of your dental progress.
Staying on the Right Side of Gum Disease
You can be in “the other half” with the 50% of Americans without chronic periodontitis if you regularly follow these steps:
- Brush at least twice a day,
- Floss once a day,
- Visit our Placerville dentists at least twice a year.
Brushing and flossing are the two most important things you can do to have a healthy mouth and visiting your dentist is the third. Our Placerville dental team cares about your health, so if you have bleeding gums, bad breath or noticeable gum pockets, schedule your exam today for a gum disease consultation!