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What Is Periodontal Health, the Cause, and When to See a Dentist

Periodontal health is an important but often overlooked aspect of oral health. At A Healthy Smile, we are proud to be experts in periodontal health.
A man with toothache, periodontal disease in wisdom teeth.

What Is Periodontal Health, the Cause, and When to See a Dentist

Millions of Americans are victims of pain and disability originating from oral diseases such as oral cancers to dental caries (cavities). These dental diseases impact the human body beyond the teeth and mouth. In fact, Periodontal health issues such as periodontal (gum) disease have been linked to several chronic diseases like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes among others.

Poor oral health in pregnant women has been associated with low birth weight and premature births. In children, poor oral health significantly increases the likelihood of tooth loss and dental caries; this has been linked to a number of other adverse health effects including intestinal disorders, altered growth, and weakened immune systems.

Periodontal health is an important but often overlooked aspect of oral health. At A Healthy Smile, we are proud to be experts in periodontal health. We offer a wide range of services to help our patients maintain healthy gums, including teeth cleanings, gum disease treatment, and more. We are dedicated to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

What is Periodontal Health?

Periodontal health is an important part of overall oral health and depicts the state of your gums and teeth. It is the condition of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. When your mouth is healthy, your gums will be pink and firm. Your teeth will be clean and free of plaque. 

The oral cavity is home to what is referred to as the “periodontium,” which includes gingiva (gum), periodontal ligament fibers, and supporting bones called alveolar bone. Gum disease refers to the destruction of one or more of these components by bacteria.

Periodontal disease is an infection of these tissues that can lead to tooth loss. If you have periodontal disease, your gums may be red, swollen, bleed easily, and you may also have pockets of pus around your teeth. Periodontal health is important for the overall health of the mouth, and it is important to brush and floss regularly to maintain it.

Why is Periodontal Health important?

Although not the most noticeable part of your mouth, periodontal health has a profound effect on your overall oral and general health. Left untreated, periodontal diseases can progress to more serious oral health issues such as tooth loss.

Bad breath, mild gum pain, and tooth sensitivity are just some of the early warning signs of gum disease. Some people have so much gingival inflammation that they have difficulty chewing food because their gums are painful. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to infection of the bone (periostitis), loss of attachment between teeth and gingiva, and loose teeth that may need extractions.

At A Healthy Smile, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health and periodontal health in particular. Our dental team takes a holistic approach to offering every patient exceptional care. We hold ourselves accountable for every aspect of your treatment, from your first phone call to our comprehensive follow-up.

We operate as an out-of-network office for most PPO insurance plans, but we will provide the information should you wish to file a claim. We can examine your mouth and determine if you have periodontal disease, and what treatment options are available.

What are the causes of periodontal disease?

Periodontal diseases can be caused by a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Gingivitis – the initial stage of gum disease, occurring when inflammation results in minor gum damage and gingival bleeding. Gum disease can develop into gingivitis if plaque is not removed from the teeth and gums daily.
  • Sinusitis – an inflammation of the sinus, or inner wall of a hollow space in the face, that occurs when tooth decay worsens.
  • Dental work – root canal therapy and/or extraction of one or more teeth can cause periodontal problems by causing infection.
  • Root loss – Long-term use of fillings, crowns, and restorative work has been linked with the development of periodontal disease.
  • Fluoride-denuded teeth may be more vulnerable to periodontal disease.
  • Smoking and excessive coffee consumption can also damage the gums, contributing to gum disease.
  • Dental implant treatment with titanium can create a pocket where bacteria can accumulate and cause periodontal disease.

How often should I see a hygienist for cleaning and evaluation?

All patients should be seen by a hygienist every 6 months for a thorough cleaning and evaluation of their oral health. Other important recommendations include:

  • Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily to remove plaque from the teeth and gums
  • Periodontal pockets should be treated within six months of developing. Routine checkups are recommended every six to twelve months after the diagnosis of periodontal disease is made.
  • Practicing good nutrition; eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D helps strengthen the teeth and bones.

When to see a dentist for periodontal treatment?

If your gums or jawbones start to swell, you should visit your dentist or dental specialist as soon as possible. Other symptoms include:

A dentist is having a quick dental-related interview with her patient while the patient is sitting on a dental chair.
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  • Bleeding or pain when you brush your teeth or eat food. When you brush your teeth, the bleeding may occur off and on for several minutes.
  • Swelling of the face or jaw
  • Pus between your teeth and under the gums. If pus accumulates, you may be developing an abscess. If a tooth is painful, swelling may also occur around it.
  • Narrowing or deepening of the gums, occurs when periodontal disease has progressed for some time. This condition is called recession, and if left untreated can lead to loss of the tooth.

At A Healthy Smile, we offer a complete periodontal treatment plan. This includes a detailed examination, an individualized treatment plan, and ongoing support for the duration of your treatment. Here are some services that come in handy:

1. Private treatment rooms

Our private treatment rooms allow our hygienists and dentists the privacy necessary to offer an effective periodontal treatment regimen. With this, our patients can rest assured that they’re receiving the best care possible.

2. Dental examinations and X-rays

We offer oral and dental examinations for all our patients to conduct a thorough diagnosis and ensure that their needs are being addressed with the right treatment plan. Digital X-rays allow us to take pictures of the teeth (in more detail than conventional film). This can be useful in identifying pockets of inflammation in order to target areas for treatment.

3. Aroma Therapy

Aroma therapy is a popular approach to relaxing patients and making them feel calm, relieving the tension in their muscles. Our aroma therapy clinic uses oils that have a soothing effect on the tissues of the mouth, throat, and nasal passages. This treatment for periodontal disease has been shown to relieve symptoms associated with stress.

4. Hot Towels and pillows

Hot Towels and pillows are used to soothe aching muscles and relax the jaw area. Applying heat allows the muscles to relax and massage techniques can be performed on the tissue of the jaw, which helps reduce tension in this area. This also helps relieve pain associated with periodontal disease.

5. Advanced 3D topographical scans

We use an iTero 5D+ and a Prexion CBCT scanner at our office to capture 3D models of the teeth, jaws, and gums. The scans create a highly detailed map of the teeth and allow us to clearly assess periodontal conditions. We are able to precisely target the areas that need treatment with radio frequency points, allowing us to relieve gum pain through targeted radiofrequency therapy.

Let A Healthy Smile be your go-to place for any tooth issues!

As your trusted periodontal provider, we dedicate ourselves to your oral health. We treat you with compassion and make every effort to truly listen to you. We also offer a broad range of treatments that allow you to choose the best one for you!

At A Healthy Smile, we use the latest techniques to keep our patients healthy: We are known for our gentle yet effective treatments. Our gentle approach is based on the latest treatment techniques and investments in our most modern equipment. We offer every patient a tailored treatment plan that reflects the complex needs of each person.

Get in touch with us by filling out this form or give us a call or text us at (804) 320 – 2496 to schedule an appointment.

1253 836 AHS
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