At Thomas Family Dentistry, we offer family, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, but remain strong advocates of preventive dentistry. Good periodontal care is critical if you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums. With straightforward preventive measures, we will help you keep diseases such as teeth decay and gum disease in check to preserve your teeth for a lifetime.
What Is Periodontal Care?
Periodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry that studies the supporting tissues of the teeth and the diseases that affect them. Known as the periodontium, it includes the gums and the bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontal care aims to maintain healthy gums to prevent the onset of gum disease. Maintaining healthy, disease-free gums is a primary factor in preventing periodontal disease - a severe form of gum disease whereby the bone, as well as the gums, are severely compromised by disease, resulting in tooth loss.
Is Periodontal Disease Preventable?
The thing about periodontal disease is that it is so easily preventable, and yet it is a common dental health problem throughout the world. The Canadian Dental Association estimates that 7 out of 10 Canadians develop gum disease at some time during their lives. If treated early enough, gum disease is curable. However, the disease is painless and is often left to progress untreated and undetected with serious consequences. Inevitably, tooth loss is the ultimate price for not dealing with the early onset of gum disease.
What Are the Main Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease?
Although plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease, other factors may also affect gum health. Research shows that smoking, old age, stress, medications, genetics, bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), other health problems, obesity, and a poor diet have all contributed to worsening gum disease or increased its risk.
Conversely, research also shows that your oral health may contribute to other health problems, including heart disease, pregnancy complications, and pneumonia. It is worth remembering that taking the time to take care of your oral health could provide a huge benefit to your overall health.
What Are the Treatments for Periodontal Disease?
Preventive measures are the best way of preventing periodontal disease. Brushing teeth and flossing twice daily, plus regular trips to the dentist for a check-up and dental hygiene treatments will go a long way in keeping gums healthy.
If you have the mildest form of gum disease (gingivitis), this oral health regime should be able to get your gum health back on track and get rid of the problem entirely. However, if your disease has progressed, the treatment depends on the extent of the disease. Once the disease has reached a certain point, the treatment options are to manage the condition rather than cure it. However, with the right care and management, it may be stopped from progressing any further.
Among the treatments available for periodontal disease are non-surgical treatments, including pocket reduction procedures, and laser treatments as well as surgical treatments, such as regenerative procedures, gum grafts, and dental implants.
If you have any concerns about your gum health and the most effective ways to deal with it, get in touch with our team at Thomas Family Dentistry by phoning 971-348-4244 to make an appointment with one of our dentists.