Oral health involves more than your teeth. Your gums and the bones that support your teeth also must be kept in good health if you want to keep your natural teeth for life.
Gum disease is not a condition to be taken lightly, because gum disease doesn’t heal itself. Untreated gum disease can lead to gum recession, bone loss and tooth loss.
We perform periodontal screenings at your routine dental exams to check the health of your gums. These screenings help us detect disease early by checking the color of your gums to determine if inflammation is present. We use a periodontal probe to measure pocket depth and if deep pockets exist, we will do what is called periodontal charting so we can monitor those pocket depths over time to determine if you need further treatment.
You could be more likely to get gum disease if you have any of these risk factors:
- Use of tobacco products
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis
- Improper nutrition
- Clenching and grinding teeth
Periodontal treatments are designed to combat gum disease and may be needed three to four times per year. Dr. Rhodes will design a plan that meets your needs, or refer you to a periodontal specialist if necessary.
Our dental hygienists are highly skilled in periodontal issues, so you are in good hands with us. Our hygienists perform deep cleanings to remove plaque and tartar from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth tooth roots in an effort to remove bacteria that causes gum disease. You might be glad to know that we can often avoid using traditional injections to numb you for this procedure. Instead, we use Oraqix®, a combination of lidocaine and prilocaine that anesthetizes the area in as little as 30 seconds.
Some scaling and root planing treatments are followed by the placement of PerioChips beneath the gumline. These chips contain powerful ingredients that help reduce pocket depth.