Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Gum disease is a significant problem for more than half of adults. It is an active bacterial infection in the soft tissues that support your teeth. Besides being damaging to your teeth, studies are showing increasing information linking gum disease to many other health issues that may seem unrelated but aren’t.
At Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS, we take gum disease very seriously. We strive to educate and demonstrate tips and techniques for our patients while simultaneously eliminating this infection. Working with Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS, you can have a healthier smile.
Our mouths are subject to many bacteria. We come in contact with it from the food we eat, to the air we breathe. Though there are some biological factors that we are designed to help keep our mouths clean, such as saliva, our mouths do require our assistance to stay healthy. Everyday a collection of bacteria builds up in our mouth, a lot of it is washed away when we drink water or from our saliva production, and some does not.
A constant formation of plaque naturally builds in our mouth. Plaque is a blend of food particles and saliva. It settles on our teeth, between our teeth, and along the rim of our teeth touching our gum tissue. We can remove plaque through daily brushing and flossing, reducing or eliminating the likelihood of decay. Plaque that is not removed will dry and harden in place, hardened plaque is known as tartar or calculus.
Tartar is filled with infection causing bacteria, and if left in place, it will cause decay. Tartar that is along your gum line, and dips below the gum line, leaves you subject to a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. You do not want to remove tartar yourself, patients who try often damage their enamel. The best way to remove tartar is with a dental cleaning from a professional hygienist such as ours at Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS.
Do I have gum disease?
One of the most frightening parts of gum disease is that it has become so common that many patients no longer see the symptoms as anything less than normal. We want to change this thinking in our patients. The symptoms of gum disease include:
|The gum tissue is red, not pink. Redness may be a slight line next to the teeth or may be a much larger area.
|The gum tissue may be puffy or irritated.
|The gum tissue may be sensitive to the touch, or painful when flossing.
|The patient may be experiencing problems with bad breath that just does not seem to go away even after a breath mint or rinse.
|The patient may notice a little bleeding when brushing or flossing.
|The patient may notice that their teeth appear to have grown, in reality, the gums have receded.
These symptoms are not normal; they are signs of gum disease.
Removing Gum Disease
We can remove this infection and help your gum heal, starting with a dental cleaning. Many of our adult patients require the additional step of a deep cleaning, which is the process of scaling and root planing. Using an ultrasonic scaler, our hygienist blasts a localized stream of water which uses oxygenated bubbles to loosen and lift hardened tartar from your teeth. Following this process, our hygienist will then use a hand scaler to ensure that every piece was removed. Once the material is gone, the hygienist will then complete the process of root planing. Root planing is the smoothing out of your roots; this will help material from not settling again and keep your gums healthier.
Some patients may require other procedures to restore and repair the damage. We may also recommend a different cleaning routine and prescribe a bacteria killing rinse. This information will be discussed with each as needed.
Keeping your gums healthy is important to your oral health. We are happy to help. Our front office staff is here to assist you in scheduling appointments and to answer your questions. Please, do not hesitate to give us a call at (315) 800-5020 today.