Dr. Clark Dunn and the team of DUNN DENTAL believe that your periodontal health is the most important factor leading to your dental well-being. Just as you would not build your house on a faulty foundation, you do not want to restore your teeth if underlying problems are present. We use several modalities including radiographs, periodontal probing and clinical exam to determine your level of disease and determine the best course of treatment to restore oral health.
Scaling and root planning is a special cleaning that is the first step toward periodontal health. It is sometimes referred to as a “deep” cleaning. This procedure is used to treat periodontal pockets that are 3mm and greater. A local anesthetic is given to reduce any discomfort, and then a small scaler or ultrasonic scaler is used to remove tarter and bacteria from the surface of the tooth and the base of the pocket. This procedure helps gum tissue to heal; therefore, decreasing the pocket depths. Depending on the number of areas to be treated, nonsurgical therapy may take one to two visits. You may also be given a mouth rinse to aid in healing. Once all areas are treated, reevaluation occurs in two to three weeks to check your healing. Many patients do not need further deep cleaning treatments but may be monitored every three to four months.
These maintenance appointments are more like a typical cleaning since no anesthetic is necessary. Maintaining your periodontal health through these maintenance appointments is an important aspect of your therapy to keep you at a healthy level.
After completing nonsurgical therapy, Dr. Clark Dunn may refer you to a periodontist for an evaluation if certain areas have not healed satisfactorily.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions, along with regular dental cleaning.
Why is oral hygiene so important? Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition