What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease describes bleeding, red, or swollen gums. It begins with hard and soft deposits on the surfaces of the teeth. If left untreated, bacterial build-up called plaque collects at the gum line. This plaque buildup eventually hardens into tartar or calculus.
When poor oral care is present, bacteria cause inflammation of the gums (gum disease / gingivitis). Over time, these bacteria can spread into the bone, resulting in a condition called periodontitis. Left treated, periodontal disease leads to the complete destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues, abscesses and, ultimately, loss of the tooth.
Signs and Symptoms (Source: The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association)
● Red, swollen or tender gums
● Bleeding while brushing or flossing
● Gums that pull away from the teeth
● Persistent bad breath
● Loose or separating teeth
● A change in the way your teeth fit together
What is a Gum Assessment?
Periodontal examinations, also known as Gum Assessment, are done to assess the health of your gums and teeth. The results are used to diagnose gingivitis and periodontitis and are monitored yearly to track the progression and maintenance of your oral health.
What is a Pocket?
The area between the top of the tissue and the bone surrounding the tooth. This area is measured using a small ruler-type instrument called a probe. When infected, the tissue pulls away from the tooth and bleeds easily. Measuring pocket depth provides an indication as to the amount of bone loss around each tooth.
What is scaling?
Scaling, also knowns as “dental cleaning,” focuses on removing plaque, calculus, and stain from the tooth surface above and below the gum line.
What is Active Therapy?
● After your gum assessment and x-rays are completed, we will diagnose your oral health condition. Your oral health status may require active therapy (ex. Moderate gingivitis, advanced periodontitis, moderate-heavy build-up of bacteria)
● An organized system for early detection, diagnosis, non-surgical treatment (scaling and root planing) and maintenance of the inflammatory phase of periodontal disease and for the early detection of premalignant or malignant changes of the oral tissues as related to oral cancer.
● Individualized treatment performed by a dentist and hygienist to reduce infection – including daily home care and maintenance recommendations.
● In combination with scaling and the use of medicaments to flush or irrigate the pocket areas allows for healthy reattachment of tissue to the root surfaces.
What we hope to accomplish with Active Therapy
● Gingival (gum) tissue that does not bleed
● Gingival tissue that is not red, swollen, or tender
● Fresher breath and taste
● Reduced pocket depths
● Control of the periodontal disease
● Established methods to effectively maintain good oral hygiene
What we need from You for Treatment Success
● Completion of the Active Therapy Program prescribed by your dentist and hygienist
● Thorough cleaning of all tooth surfaces twice daily
● Maintenance of regular recare visits
● A Commitment to improving your health