Periodontal Maintenance

periodontics pasadenaPeriodontal Maintenance

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth from gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line which is constantly forming on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Periodontal Disease

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is through effective daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is essential to prevent its progress.

dental implant home instructionsOther important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease.

However, warning signs of gum disease include the following:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Can periodontal disease cause health problems beyond the mouth?

Yes, we know that bacteria in the mouth can cause endocarditis, a heart valve inflammation, and can also compromise complicated medical procedures such as organ transplants. Additional impacts on other diseases are inconclusive. Studies suggest that there is an association between periodontal disease and:

  • an increased risk of heart attack or stroke,
  • an increased risk of delivering preterm, low birth weight babies,
  • difficulty controlling blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

In the meantime, it’s a fact that controlling periodontal disease can save your teeth – a very good reason to take care of your teeth and gums.

Do I Need Treatment Now Or Can I Delay?

When periodontal treatment is recommended, it is important to get started right away. Without treatment the infection will continue to eat away at the gums and bone which anchor your teeth.
Delaying treatment, even for 2-3 months can result in unnecessary loss of teeth and/or additional treatment with increased expense. By keeping your teeth, your ability to taste and enjoy a wide variety of foods properly will be protected.

Prompt treatment can help prevent painful periodontal abscesses.

Periodontal treatment can eliminate or reduce the unpleasant taste often associated with the disease as well as the embarrassment of “bad breath”. Your appearance will be protected through early treatment as successive loss of teeth often encourages lines, wrinkles and a “sunken” look due to the loss of tone in the facial muscles.

A patient’s self-confidence and self-image is often renewed through an improved appearance.

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

Post-op Instructions for Perio Surgery

Homecare:  After Perio Surgery

Before your periodontal surgery, you were given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort. This anesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid any chewing for two hours following surgery, or until the numbness has worn off completely.

Apply an ice pack—20 minutes on, 20 minutes off—for six hours following surgery to decrease pain and swelling.

Keep your fingers and tongue away from the parts of your gums that were affected by the surgery.

Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery. Twenty-four hours after surgery, you can rinse gently with mouthwash or a warm salt water solution. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, and gently swish, then carefully spit. Three times per day is sufficient.

It’s normal to experience some discomfort for a few days following surgery.

To avoid nausea, don’t take pain medication on an empty stomach.

If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.

Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first  24 hours following surgery.

Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat. Nourishment is important to the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yogurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first 48 hours.

Drink at least eight large glasses of water or diluted fruit juice each day.

dental implant home instructionsKeep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. We will give you a supply of gauze sponges to place over the bleeding area. Change them as necessary, and use them until the bleeding stops completely. You can also bite gently but firmly on a moist tea bag for 20 minutes if bleeding continues.

Call our office if bleeding persists or increases.

Continue cleaning the other areas of your mouth, flossing daily and brushing at least twice a day as you would normally.


Inflamed Gum

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums.
pediatric dentistry pasadena