What is periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease, also known as Periodontitis or gum disease, is a long standing bacterial infection caused by unremoved plaque that relentlessly attacks the gums, the supporting periodontal ligaments, and eventually the bone that holds the teeth in place. It presents as visible recession of the gums and/or deep pockets present between the tooth and gum and progresses to tooth mobility and potential loss of the tooth.
Periodontal probing is performed annually by your Dentist and/or Registered Dental Hygienist to measure the pocket depths and monitor any changes that would indicate advancement of the disease.
Periodontal Disease cannot be reversed, but through professional treatment and improved oral hygiene practices it can be stabilized. It is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults which is why it is so important that it is caught early and treated effectively. Studies done by the World Health Organization (WHO) show the risk factors for this disease include: poor oral health, tobacco use, stress, diabetes, and excessive alcohol use.
How to prevent / reduce / manage Periodontal Disease?
Brush twice daily minimum. Brushing disturbs the biofilm (plaque) that accumulates on the teeth throughout the day and while you sleep at night, and helps to prevent it from settling in and causing inflammation in the gums.
Cleaning between the teeth daily. Flossing, interdental brushes, Soft Picks, Waterpik, Stimudents, Rubber Tips, Sulca Brushes all help with this task. Your Registered Dental Hygienist can assist you with selecting the best option to suit your needs and provide samples for you to try at home.
Rince twice daily. Rinsing with 1 table spoon of Listerine 2x/day for 30 seconds is highly recommended and helps to kill the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Listerine provides alcohol free options in their product line and these are equally as effective in killing bacteria, it is simply a personal choice.