Regular dental should include attention not only to the teeth, but also the gums that support them. Periodontal disease, or a chronic bacterial infection along the gums and jaw, are tricky issues to resolve once they set in, and family dentist in Milwaukie, Oregon Dr. Walker recommends a healthy ruotine of proper tooth brushing and flossing to protect patients from this painful condition.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about periodontal disease, with answers patients should keep in mind as part of their healthy dental routine.
How Does Periodontal Disease Start?
Periodontal disease is the result of a building of plaque between teeth that nestles its way into the deeper recesses of the gums, where tooth brushes and floss cannot reach. Because of this, it is important to clear away any gunk that could lead to plaque buildup following meals, as well as taking care to brush and rinse before heading to bed.
What are the Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease can first be noticed if a patient experiences gum inflammation and swelling that sticks around for days at a time. Unlike a canker sore, periodontal disease swelling will persist and keep hurting until directly addressed. Because of the sensitive nature of gums, it is not recommended that a patient just floss or brush like mad in a possibly infected. Rather, the best plan is to set up an appointment with Dr. Walker and address the issue with a long-term solution.
What Causes Periodontal Disease to Persist?
In most cases, periodontal disease begins and continues if a patient gets out of a regular dental hygiene habit that includes brushing two times per day, flossing once per day, making use of fluoride rinse and attending regular check-ups at Dr. Walker’s office. Overnight attack by plaque is a major contributor, and it is a particualr concern since it has to track when it happens but also hard to reverse once the effects are felt. Going to sleep and waking up with a funky taste in the mouth is a bad sign, so if brushing and flossing are not addressing this issue, be sure to mention it at your next visit.
What Options are Available for Periodontal Disease Treatment?
Scaling and root planing are methods for removing plaque deposits that are non-surgical. They help reduce swelling and are very effective if Dr. Walker’s office is able to catch the signs of periodontal disease.
There are also some options for regenerative surgery, though they are invasive and will lead to some recovery time. Grafts and donor tissues are part of these procedures, so the best bet is to just keep up a good dental care routine and avoid these steps altogether.
Any questions about periodontal disease are best answered in person, so be sure to voice concerns to Dr. Walker during a visit and learn more about the best way to ward off any painful swelling.