Most people understand the importance of taking care of their teeth. However, fewer people understand the importance of good gum health. Your gums protect your teeth and keep them firmly attached to your mouth. However, gums can become infected or diseased if bacteria are allowed to proliferate. Understanding periodontal disease, as well as its prevention and treatment, can help you keep your entire mouth healthy. Here are a few things that patients should know about periodontal disease:
1. There are different types of periodontal disease
Periodontal disease affects the gums. There are different types of periodontal disease, each with varying levels of severity. Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease. People with gingivitis may notice that their gums bleed when they brush their teeth or floss. A more serious type of periodontal disease is called periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and even jaw bone erosion if it is not properly managed.
2. Periodontal disease can be reversed
If you have periodontal disease, you may be worried and uncertain about the next steps you should take. Fortunately, periodontal disease doesn't have to be permanent. With proper treatment, periodontal disease can be managed and even reversed. Your dentist will recommend the types of treatment they believe will serve you best based on your individual situation. These treatments may include Dental scaling, root planing, or flap surgery. Your dentist can explain these procedures to you upon request.
3. Local anesthesia will be used during treatment for periodontal disease
Some treatments for periodontal disease are more invasive than others. For instance, during flap surgery, your dentist will carefully cut away a portion of your gums so they can clean the roots of your teeth located below. Local anesthesia will be used during this procedure for your comfort. Before root planing or flap surgery begins, your dentist will numb your mouth using lidocaine injections. After your anesthesia wears off, you may feel some lingering soreness, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
4. You may need to increase the frequency of your dental appointments
In most cases, people should visit their dentist's office at least twice a year. However, there are situations when more frequent appointments are appropriate. People with periodontal disease should have their teeth cleaned every three to four months by a professional. This increased frequency can allow your dentist to manage the amount of bacteria, plaque, and tartar in your mouth more effectively.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for a local service that can help with periodontal disease.