Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Most gum diseases are preventable with proper oral hygiene. However, what can start out as gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In such cases, gums pull away from the tooth to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing and other complications.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
In order to diagnose periodontal disease, the hygienists will measure and monitor pockets at every cleaning. Each patient is advised on an individual basis regarding their own maintenance routines for better periodontal health. The hygienists review homecare and recommend frequency of in-office cleanings.
In certain cases, if the periodontal disease has advanced, a patient will be referred to a periodontist for specialized care.