Olney, MD Dentist
Periodontal (gum) disease is the result of bacteria build-up on your teeth and gums.
When bacteria starts to collect in your mouth, it can create a sticky, colorless substance known as “plaque.” Plaque then builds up and sticks to your teeth. If it is not removed during brushing or flossing, the particles can harden and turn into tartar. Over time, plaque and tartar become more difficult to remove at home so a professional cleaning with our hygienist is important for maintaining your oral health and preventing decay and periodontal disease.
The longer the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harm they can cause to your oral health. Eventually plaque and tartar will create a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gum tissue. Routine cleanings and proper oral care can prevent gingivitis from developing. Once gum disease is prevalent, we can help control the disease and prevent it from progressing.
In cases where gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontal disease. Inflammation affects the soft tissue (gums) and teeth, causing the gums to swell and pull away from the teeth. This creates pockets between the gums and teeth, which may develop additional plaque and tartar. If left untreated, these pockets can become deep and even cause teeth to loosen or fall out.
A common solution for controlling periodontal disease is a deep dental cleaning, which can be performed by our experienced hygienist. Scaling and root planing is performed often without any anesthesia. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of the disease may make it necessary to numb the area for comfort. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar (deposits) above and below the gumline, and root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces while removing the infected tooth structure.
During your treatment we may use an ultrasonic scaling tool. This tool uses targeted sound waves to remove tartar from your teeth and periodontal pockets. Ultrasonic scaling is a gentle technique that is both highly effective and minimizes impact on tooth structures.
Periodontitis cannot be completely reversed, but with proper at-home care combined with in-office maintenance, we can prevent the disease from progressing. It is important to regularly see us for routine, professional cleaning and examinations. Also, it is essential to keep up with your daily oral routine at home. Flossing is crucial to preventing periodontal disease.
Contact our office to schedule an appointment.