The Importance of Periodontal Health

Periodontal health is important for preventing dental and gum disease, preserving teeth, and supporting overall health. If you want a healthy, beautiful smile, this must be a priority. At Mint Dental in Bradenton, we provide gentle, thorough periodontal care and examine you for any signs of periodontal disease and other oral health problems.

Some Periodontal Dental Terms It’s Helpful to Know

The periodontium of your mouth is the gum tissue and bone supporting your teeth.

Dental plaque is a film of colonizing bacteria attempting to attach to the surface of teeth and feed off of carbohydrates on the teeth. As the bacteria degrade, the released acid erodes tooth enamel causing dental caries, also known as dental disease or tooth decay. It is important to minimize sugary drinks and starchy foods and clean teeth immediately after ingesting them. It is also important to floss once a day and brush after meals and at bedtime to keep the bacteria at bay.

Calculus or tartar is a hard deposit that forms on the teeth, above and/or below the gum line, when plaque mineralizes. Calculus is not easily removed and generally requires removal with special instruments used by a Registered Dental Hygienist or Dentist.

Gingivitis is the buildup of bacteria in plaque causing inflamed gums that bleed easily. Although gum tissue is inflamed, teeth are still firmly embedded in surrounding bone and no irreversible bone or tissue loss has occurred. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease begins when bacterial toxins in plaque and the body’s defense mechanisms involved in fighting infections start to break down bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. The result is eventual and progressive deepening of gum pockets and loss of bone surrounding teeth, possibly leading to unstable teeth or even tooth loss. Periodontal disease is irreversible, yet controllable. More aggressive measures may have to be taken to control the disease, such as deeper cleanings (scaling and root planing) and periodontal maintenance appointments every 3 months to control the bacterial repopulation.

Why Dental Hygiene Appointments Are Important

Because homecare efforts are insufficient, all children, teens and adults need regular teeth cleaning in the dentist’s office. Some people are more prone to developing plaque and calculus than others and require more frequent professional cleanings. These cleanings remove the plaque and calculus attached to the teeth, and minimize the opportunity for dental decay to begin. These cleanings also remove the buildup of bacteria below the gum line to prevent and treat gum disease. If gum disease goes untreated, it advances and does injury to the bone tissue surrounding tooth roots. This is a primary cause of tooth loss, not to mention discomfort, loss of biting and chewing strength, unsightly gum tissue, bad breath, and inflammation in other parts of the body.

You see, the oral bacteria that cause periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Scientific studies indicate that heart disease, diabetes, osteopenia and osteoporosis are highly correlated with periodontitis and periodontal infections. Maintaining healthy gums should be a priority for maintaining optimal systemic health.

Are You Concerned About Your Periodontal Health? Call Mint Dental.

In the course of an initial new patient exam or a regular dental check up, Dr. Aneja will recommend periodontal treatment if she finds signs of progressing periodontal disease. Between visits, you should call us if you develop symptoms of periodontal disease such as unexplained bleeding while eating or brushing, red and puffy gums, persistent bad breath, and gum recession.

Please talk to Dr. Monika Aneha and her Registered Dental Hygienist about any questions you have about periodontal disease and periodontal treatment.