Periodontal disease is often called the “silent” disease because there is no pain as the disease progresses (bone loss, gum swelling, bleeding gums, bad breath, etc.).
Treated early and properly the disease is:
• easier for patients to manage after treatment
• long term prognosis can be significantly better
• less costly
Regular cleanings are necessary to prevent periodontal disease and to maintain your oral health. In addition, good oral health is also a vital component in maintaining physical health. In essence, as we strive to improve your oral hygiene, your overall health will improve. The mouth is the gateway for many bacteria to enter the rest of our body where they can cause many irreversible problems.
This is not new to the medical and dental community, but it is finally becoming more common knowledge to the general public. According to the American Dental Association:
“Researchers have found that periodontitis (the advanced form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss) is associated with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia. Likewise, pregnant women who have periodontitis may be at increased risk for delivering pre-term and/or low birth weight babies”
Our hygiene program does not start and stop with your visit to our facility. We are dedicated to education and information in order to actively involve our patient’s attaining and maintaining optimal oral hygiene.
Professional intervention includes strives to educate, reinforce good oral habits, and eliminate/minimize destructive habits. This type of coordinated effort has typically resulted in our clients maintaining healthy oral situations between visits as compared to ongoing frustration with bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, stained teeth, etc.
Patients who have had inadequate or infrequent regular professional cleanings sometimes develop hardened plaque (tartar/calculus) deep under the gumline. For these patients, a regular cleaning is insufficient to remove calculus from the deepest areas closest to the bone. If all the calculus is not removed, complete halting of the disease is NOT possible.
Requesting a “regular” cleaning from a dental office in cases like this is similar to washing the tips of your hair without washing the roots - your hair will not be clean. But dirty hair roots do not cause hair to fall out or the scalp to recede whereas calculus continually irritates the bone closest to it, with the resultant continual loss of bone/gum. A deep cleaning is the absolute essential first step needed.
If this non-surgical intervention such as scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) is insufficient, there are many new advances in bone regeneration that are available. We pledge to thoroughly explain why each recommendation is being made to correct a situation that is still repairable before it becomes irreversible.
Remember, your mouth is a pathway to the rest of your body; hence, keeping your mouth clean and healthy is an essential step to systemic health and a healthy and happy lifestyle. For more information, please visit the American Dental Association website.
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