What is periodontal disease?
So, you just came to our Rosyln office for your 6-month checkup and Dr. Talerman or I have told you that you have periodontal disease, what does that even mean?
Periodontal disease is an infection in your gums that bacterial toxins have decided to reside and have caused your body to destroy the bone that holds the teeth in. Think of your teeth like a fence surrounding your house. The dirt around the posts is there to keep it tight and sturdy. If not managed properly you will start to lose dirt around the post eventually making the fence lose and possibly lost. The same goes for your teeth, without proper home care and routine checks up to the dentist you can damage the gums and bone holding your teeth nicely in place.
Studies have shown a direct link between periodontal disease to rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks, and strokes. The symptoms of periodontal disease include sore or swollen gums, bleeding gums, and painful chewing. If you have any of these symptoms you should come to the office and let us evaluate and diagnose you properly so there can be a proper plan implemented. Untreated periodontal disease can lead to losing your teeth. There are also direct factors that can progress periodontal diseases, such as diabetes and smoking. Like diabetes, periodontal disease isn’t cured but rather controlled.
So, what do I do as your Hygienist?
There are different levels of periodontal disease and depending on which one you fall in there are different options to what we can do. There are Non-surgical therapy interventions such as scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of plaque and bacteria from your teeth that is below the gums. Root planing is a process that will smooth the root to prevent further inflammation and inhibit bacteria from forming and progress healing. In some cases, if there is a deeper pocket, I would recommend an antibiotic that can be placed directly into the site called Arestin. Studies have shown that Arestin in conjunction with SRP has effectively reduced pocket depth. With proper care and compliance, together we can stop the disease in progression, and you will only need to come in for 3 month recalls instead of 6 months.