Periodontal care is a blanket term used to describe the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums that causes bone tissue and soft tissue destruction. Plaque forms around the gum line as a result of infrequent brushing and flossing.
While plaque can be difficult to remove at home, it’s when it hardens into tartar that you run into problems. It only takes 24 hours for plaque to harden into tartar, at which point you will require professional cleanings to remove it.
Plaque and tartar cause inflammation of the gums that can lead to gum disease if not responded to as soon as possible. Periodontal care enables us to screen for gum disease so we can detect it early enough to reverse it.
The treatment for gingivitis is minimally invasive but once gum disease advances into periodontitis, you may require oral surgery. Ongoing maintenance of the health of your gums after treating gum disease is also a part of periodontal care.
Gum pocket depths of up to 3 mm are considered healthy.
Dr. Qian will perform an oral exam to look for signs of gum disease. A probe will be used to measure the depths of your gum pockets for diagnosis.
A scaler is used to remove plaque and tartar from above the gum line and below the gum line.
The roots of the tooth are smoothed out so we can more easily reattach the tooth and gums.
We will need you to come back for follow-up appointments so we can monitor the depth of your gum pockets and determine if further treatment is needed.
If your gum pockets are deeper than 3 mm, that is a sign of gingivitis, and depths greater than 4 mm indicate periodontitis.
This depends on the stage of gum disease. Gingivitis, the earliest stage, is considered reversible when caught early enough. The problem is that the symptoms are mild - tender, red, swollen, and bleeding gums - which can easily go undetected.
Untreated gingivitis develops into periodontitis, which is irreversible and causes bone loss and soft tissue damage. Advanced periodontitis can lead to loose teeth and eventually cause tooth loss.
If you have advanced periodontitis, you may need oral surgery like gum grafts or gum flap surgery.