Periodontal disease is the official term for gum disease. It begins when plaque collects on the teeth and hardens into tartar, which you can’t remove at home. Tartar builds up, resulting in spaces between your teeth and gums, which are known as “periodontal pockets.” These pockets are the perfect homes for food particles and bacteria. Unfortunately, the end result is infection, which can easily spread and lead to horrific consequences like teeth and bone loss. How do you know if you need periodontal therapy? What is this therapy like?
Gingivitis – the First Stage
Gingivitis is a gum disease and if not treated, it progresses to full-blown periodontitis. You can recognize gingivitis by the presence of inflamed, red, and puffy gums that bleed easily when brushed or flossed. In the early stages, many people don’t even realize they have it, which is why it’s so important to come see our expert team at Pacific NW Dental Center twice a year. If caught quickly enough, you can actually reverse gingivitis relatively easily with improved oral hygiene. Depending on the progression of the condition, however, more periodontal therapy might be needed.
The Steps of Periodontal Therapy
If the gum disease has caused damage, therapy is needed to restore your oral health. First, we’ll perform an oral exam to assess how serious the disease is. Next comes a thorough cleaning to get rid of plaque and tartar buildup on your gums, teeth, and in the periodontal pockets. If your case is mild, you might not need any more invasive therapy, and you’ll be set up with a treatment plan of specialized toothpaste and mouthwash. In more serious cases, however, you might need antibiotic treatment or surgery.
Following periodontal therapy, it’s very important to maintain a good oral health routine. Your gums and mouth need time to heal, and you want to make sure the condition doesn’t appear again. Follow-up appointments will be needed, so we can measure your recovery and make sure everything is alright going forward.
So, Do I Need Periodontal Therapy?
If your gums are inflamed and bleed easily, you most likely have gum disease. The type of therapy you’ll need depends on how far along the disease is, and you can only find that out if you come see us. Here at Pacific NW Dental Center, we’re dedicated to giving you the best care, so you can get your oral health back on track.