Many Americans experience some form of periodontal disease, often without realizing it. Periodontal disease is chiefly responsible for adult tooth loss, bleeding gums, bad breath, and receding gums. But, did you know that periodontal disease has also been associated with a variety of general health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, blood clots, premature birth, low birth weight babies, some forms of cancer, and more? Over 400 types of bacteria live in your mouth. It is these bacteria that can enter the bloodstream causing severe health problems. These germs multiply at a very rapid rate, requiring constant care to reduce their numbers. The acidity of your mouth can also affect the harm these bacteria can do.
The truth is, periodontal disease can usually be easily prevented with proper hygiene, home care, and professional treatment. If diagnosed in its early stages, gum disease treatments are easier, less invasive, and more effective than if treatment is delayed. Your visit with Dr. Santiago includes a complete evaluation of your gums and supportive tissues, as well as help in finding and utilizing the home care techniques that will be of the most advantage to you.
Periodontal Supportive Therapy
If you are diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease, regularly scheduled supportive therapy is vitally important to your success in management of disease progression. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Following a course of active periodontal treatment and periodic ongoing care at regularly prescribed intervals” is essential.
Because periodontal disease or infection can recur, continuous maintenance is mandatory in order to prevent this periodontal infection from becoming active once again and from destroying what healing has occurred.
The following treatment is included in your periodontal maintenance appointment:
- Evaluation of oral health to detect subtle signs of disease recurrence.
- Appropriate debridement of teeth and gums (professional cleaning and polishing).
- Antimicrobial therapy to destroy difficult-to-reach bacteria, as deemed necessary by the doctor.
- Evaluation of homecare regimes and aids.
- Oral health evaluation, including oral cancer screening, necessary dental films, and decay detection.
- Recommendations based on individual needs as a result of medical and dental histories review.