Taking care of your teeth is important, and a big part of that is taking care of your overall oral health. One of the biggest causes of tooth loss is periodontal (gum) disease, and your biggest ally in the fight against it is preventive care. Making sure that the oral structures that support healthy teeth remain in good shape plays a major role. Dental visits included cleanings not just to prevent tooth decay, but to keep gums healthy, as well. Brushing is an important part of your dental hygiene routine, but optimal gum health also requires daily flossing.
Periodontal disease is progressive, and it begins as a condition known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen or bleeding gums. If your hygienist or Dr. Sanders determines that you have gingivitis, you will be given instructions as to how to care for your teeth to prevent progression or reverse this condition.
Should your condition progress, you may get what are called “pockets” where the gum pulls away from the tooth. These pockets are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, causing the condition to continue to worsen if not treated. Eventually it can lead to tooth loss. Treatment will usually entail a regimen of more frequent cleanings, including deep cleanings known as scaling and root planing.