Periodontal Care for Your Oral and Overall Health
Healthy gums are an integral part of your oral and overall well-being, and help set the stage for a smile that is both functional and beautiful. To ensure that you achieve and maintain good gum health, Dr. John Rink offers comprehensive periodontal care at his Charleston practice. To learn more about his advanced periodontal treatments, contact our practice today.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Many people will experience a form of periodontal disease at some point in their lives. Periodontal disease develops when plaque accumulates on the teeth, causing the gums to become inflamed and eventually recede. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to weakened or loose teeth, bone deterioration, and even tooth loss. You can prevent gum disease with a good oral hygiene routine that involves brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year.
The Stages of Periodontal Disease
During the initial stage of gum disease, patients may notice that their gums are red and swollen as plaque and bacteria accumulate on the teeth below the gum line. Symptoms of gingivitis may be most noticeable while brushing and flossing as gums become more sensitive and possibly bleed. Treatment for gingivitis usually involves an in-office deep cleaning, or root planing and scaling. A special mouthwash may also be recommended to prevent the buildup of plaque.
If gingivitis is not properly treated, plaque and bacteria will continue to grow below the gum line and periodontitis can develop. Periodontitis is characterized by deep pockets between the teeth and gums that are infected with bacteria. Eventually the infection can affect the surrounding bone, weakening it and causing teeth to loosen. In severe cases, teeth may even fall out. For moderate and advanced periodontitis, some patients may benefit from traditional root planing and scaling, while others may require more advanced therapies, such as laser treatment.
Periodontal Disease and Your General Health
In addition to damaging your smile, gum disease can also negatively impact your systemic health. A growing number of studies link gum disease to other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, and certain cancers. To help prevent oral and other health conditions, it is important to be aware of the signs of gum disease and take the necessary steps to prevent it.
Prevention and Maintenance
Like all diseases, the best way to treat periodontal disease is to prevent it altogether. The cornerstones of periodontal disease prevention include:
- Practicing good at-home hygiene: Dr. Rink and his staff are happy to review the best methods for flossing and brushing with you to ensure you are cleaning your teeth as thoroughly as possible.
- Seeing your dentist regularly: We recommend all patients see their dentist at least twice a year. Your dental professionals can clean your teeth and other oral structures to a degree that simply cannot by achieved by brushing and flossing at home. In addition to eradicating plaque, your regular appointments allow your dentist to monitor your mouth for signs of gum disease.
- Educating yourself and being vigilant: If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist right away.
Schedule Your Appointment with Us Today
If you suspect you have gum disease, or need a regular cleaning and exam, please schedule your appointment with us today. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve optimal oral health.