Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. A healthy, beautiful smile can have a significant impact on your self-confidence and overall oral health. One vital aspect of maintaining a healthy smile is periodontal care.
What Is Periodontal Care?
Periodontal care refers to the care and treatment of the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligaments, and the alveolar bone.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth—the bacteria in plaque, a sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth, causing gum disease. If plaque remains unremoved through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into a substance called tartar. Only a dental professional can remove it.
Gum disease is a progressive condition. It can worsen over time if left untreated. In its early stages, gum disease may cause redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. As it progresses, the gums may begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that can become infected. In advanced stages, gum disease can cause the loss of teeth and bone damage.
Periodontal Care Services
Periodontal care services include:
· Professional cleanings - Your dental hygienist will remove plaque and calculus from your teeth using special tools and techniques. They will also polish your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth from decay.
· Scaling and root planing - If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing. The deep cleaning procedure involves removing plaque and calculus from below the gumline. It also entails smoothing the roots of the teeth to help prevent future buildup.
· Laser gum treatment - This minimally invasive procedure uses a laser to remove infected gum tissue and kill bacteria. It can help treat early-stage gum disease or as a follow-up to scaling and root planing.
· Gum grafting - If you have lost gum tissue due to gum disease or other factors, your dentist may recommend gum grafting. This procedure involves taking gum tissue from another part of your mouth. It can also use synthetic material to cover exposed roots and help protect your teeth.
· Oral hygiene instructions - Your dental team can provide personalized instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums at home. It will include proper brushing and flossing techniques. They will also give you recommendations for mouthwash and other oral hygiene products.
The Importance of Periodontal Care
Maintaining healthy gums is vital for the appearance and function of your teeth. Healthy gums provide a strong foundation for your teeth, helping keep them in place and preventing tooth loss. They also play a significant role in your overall oral health. Gum disease has a link to a range of other health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
More Habits to Help Keep Your Gums Healthy
Quit smoking. Smoking is a risk factor for gum disease and can make it more challenging to treat. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods can help keep your gums healthy.
Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth hydrated and flush away bacteria that can cause gum disease. Using mouthwash can help kill bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. Just be sure to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash, as alcohol can be drying and irritating to the gums.
For more about periodontal care, visit Implant Dentistry Periodontics & Facial Rejuvenation at our offices in Tampa and Wesley Chapel, Florida. Call 813.517.0100 or 813.973.7770 to book an appointment today.