Dental Hygiene/Periodontal Health
Gum disease is a condition that is made up of 2 distintinct phases. Gingivitis is the first stage, defined as inflammation of the gums. With proper care, gingivitis can be reversed in 2 weeks. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease- a chronic infection. Periodontal disease is commonly found in 75-85% of adult Americans. It is the most common cause of adult tooth loss. Periodontal disease is also linked to systemic diseases such as heart disease and Type II Diabetes. The treatment of periodontal disease focuses on controlling the disease much like Diabetes. As part of your examination you were screened for the presence of gum disease. Based on our diagnostic findings, treatment is customized to your individual needs.
Treatment generally consists of three phases:
1. Initial Treatment: This consists of scaling and root planning, also known as deep cleaning. This is where all of the bacterial deposits are removed from the tooth and root surface. At the initial treatment visist(s), we may also recommend localized antibiotic therapy with a product called Arestin. This antibiotic is applied directly into the deeper pockets.
2. The Maintenance Visits: This is when you come back for cleanings every three to four months and we monitor the health of your gums. We will re-evaluate your gums to ensure that the initial treatment has worked and that together with your homecare we are controlling the periodontal disease.
3. The time in between the maintenance visits is critical in the overall success of your treatment. This is the part where you take responsibility for your own health. Daily brushing, flossing and antimicrobial rinses are all integral parts of good home care. Our recommendations for your homecare are also based on the individual needs of the patient.
a. Electronic tooth brush- and electronic toothbrush is by far better than a hand brush at removing plaque and thus bacteria. We recommend the Sonicare brush which research has shown to be the most effective brush for removing plaque, and thus reversing gingivitis.
b. Perio Protect Tray System- this system is comprised of trays (similar to bleaching trays) that are designed to deliver medication directly to the periodontal pocket. Dr. Mashru and Dr. Schupper will prescribe medication that will be placed in the trays and are to be worn a couple of times a day for a few minutes at a time.
The improper alignment of teeth also contributes to periodontal disease. The proper alignment of teeth allow for the proper hygiene of teeth to occur. Crowded teeth are much harder to keep clean and do not allow the mouth's self-cleansing mechanism to work properly. We recommend Invisalign for our patients when the alignment of their teeth is contributing to their periodontal disease.
Studies have shown that excellent home care and maintaining a regular recall regimen will in fact control periodontal disease and prevent the need for more invasive surgical intervention. Our staff is trained to answer all of your questions regarding treatment and to help guide you back to optimal oral health.