Gateway Dentistry Group

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal Maintenance in Grande Prairie

No matter what age you are, good oral hygiene is essential to periodontal maintenance. Periodontal diseases are caused by gum infections which can gradually destroy natural tooth support. Gum disease may require a variety of treatment methods. Plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease in those who are genetically susceptible. Most periodontal conditions can be prevented by brushing your teeth and flossing every day.

At our Grande Prairie Dental Clinic, the Gateway Dentistry Group team will give you the tips and information you need to start practicing proper periodontal care.

Why Is Oral Hygiene Important?

Brushing and flossing are basic habits we pick up as kids, but why is it so important to keep up the practice of good oral hygiene into your adult years? Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about preventing cavities — it’s about protecting your gums as well.

Once you reach the age of 35, you are more likely to lose teeth to periodontal disease than to cavities. In fact, 75 percent of adults will have some kind of periodontal condition at some point in their life. Both cavities and periodontal disease can be prevented with good tooth brushing and flossing practices, done every single day.

Periodontal disease and tooth decay are both caused by the same thing — bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film that constantly forms and sticks to your teeth.

A number of other important factors can cause gum disease to accelerate and affect the health of your gums, including:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Other medical conditions
  • Stress
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Some types of medication
  • Poor nutrition

Thorough brushing and flossing can remove most plaque and germs and help prevent periodontal disease. However, even with diligent care, there are still small areas that can be missed. If not removed, plaque hardens into a difficult to remove substance known as tartar, or calculus.

That’s why regular dental checkups at our Grande Prairie clinic are so essential. Our team of dental hygienists meticulously clean all pockets of plaque and tartar during your appointment.

Periodontal Disease

Plaque contains bacteria that can produce toxins which irritate the gums. The earlier you catch periodontal disease, the better it is for your oral health. Some of the initial symptoms include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Pain when chewing
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Receding gums

If you do not visit the dentist to address these early signs, the gums begin to separate from the teeth. Initially, this causes spaces to form, but as the periodontal disease progresses, supporting gum tissue and bone deteriorates. When left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss.

Periodontal Treatment

Early detection is essential. If you think you may have gum disease, then make an appointment at our Grande Prairie dental clinic as soon as possible. When periodontal disease is caught early enough, there are a couple of non-surgical treatments that can be effective:

1. Scaling and Root Planing

Periodontal disease usually starts around the teeth below the gum line where regular cleaning cannot reach. Scaling and root planing, also called a dental deep cleaning, are non-surgical procedures for removing the plaque and toxins that build up on the surface of the teeth, below the gum line.

These non-surgical procedures can be used as a preventative measure. By removing plaque and calculus from below the gum line, the potential infection that results in periodontal disease can be avoided.

2. Medication

Follow up treatment for periodontal disease may include the application of an antimicrobial or systemic antibiotics. Antimicrobials are often applied with a tray delivery system. Custom-fit trays are filled with the medication and applied to the surface of the teeth. You can use the trays at home to continue treatment.

Preventing Gum Disease

Establishing daily oral hygiene habits is an important element in preventing gum disease. Practicing good brushing techniques and flossing daily are supported by regular dental checkups at Gateway Dentistry Group in Grande Prairie. The dentist can spot plaque build-up before it becomes a problem.

Bacteria that collects in the mouth and potentially develops into periodontal disease can also get into the bloodstream and cause other problems. Eliminating oral bacteria before it can cause other issues is the ultimate goal of good oral hygiene.

Brushing, flossing, as well as regular dental examinations and cleanings, are the best way to prevent periodontal disease. However, even those with the best dental hygiene can, unfortunately, develop some form of gum disease. At that point, professional intervention is necessary to keep it from progressing.

The periodontist at Gateway Dentistry Group in Grande Prairie can evaluate your gum health and suggest changes to your oral care that could improve overall health. Contact us today to set up an appointment.