Nearly 80% of American adults are affected by some degree of periodontal disease. However, your risk of developing this condition can be reduced with healthy oral hygiene practices at home and visits to our office for routine cleanings.
Periodontal (gum) disease is the infection of the gums. The infection occurs as a result of built up plaque and tartar collecting near and irritating the gums.
Periodontal disease is often identified by its different stages. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which is completely reversible with the right care and treatment. However, left untreated, the disease can advance into a more serious form known as periodontitis.
Irritated gums are one of the first signs of early periodontal disease. However, other symptoms may develop as a result of the infection, including:
If you find yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with our office so we can treat the infection before it has the chance to advance.
Each stage of periodontal disease requires an alternate approach for periodontal treatment. The goal of treatment is to reduce the symptoms of the infection and reverse any damage, if possible.
The primary form of treatment we use at Richmond Dental is a deep cleaning, often referred to as scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing existing plaque and tartar from the teeth both above and below the gumline. Root planing is the process of removing rough areas on tooth roots where bacteria are more likely to gather. Any present bacteria in these areas are eliminated to eradicate the infection.
The while scaling and root planing has been proven as highly effective methods for treating periodontal disease, the best form of treatment is prevention. Here are a few ways you can manage your oral health at home to reduce your risk of gum disease: