The importance of dental hygiene and periodontal treatments

Keeping your smile healthy is more than just maintaining a beautiful smile—it also helps keep issues such as tooth decay and periodontal disease from causing irreversible damage! Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, is a condition that can significantly change the smile due to bone, tissue, and tooth loss. Drs. Gary and Scott Pearl at Pearl Dental Care in Hamden, Connecticut, can educate patients on the importance of dental hygiene habits and diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. 

What is periodontal disease? 

Also called periodontitis or gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection that can wreak havoc on the smile. The condition starts in the gum tissues and harbors bacteria in pockets that develop between gums and teeth. Without appropriate treatment, the bacteria multiply and cause the gum tissues to shrink, the jawbone to deteriorate, and ultimately the loss of natural, adult teeth. This condition is entirely preventable with proper dental hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and routine dental appointments. 

Does gingivitis have a cure? 

The earliest stage of periodontitis is called gingivitis and is characterized by bleeding, swollen gum tissues. When caught in this early stage, patients can reverse the condition. Otherwise, advancement can result in the formation of late-stage periodontitis, which can be much more difficult to manage.  

Why is dental hygiene crucial? 

Maintaining a healthy smile also helps keep a healthy body, as the oral-systemic connection shows that periodontal disease causes bacteria to enter the bloodstream. That carries it to other parts of the body and can contribute to other medical problems such as strokes and heart disease. The team at Pearl Dental Care will educate patients on keeping dental hygiene up to par to ensure healthy smiles for life! 

Gum Disease
The 3 stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is caused by toxins irritating the gum line as a result of plaque buildup. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis includes swelling, sensitivity, and bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be easily reversed through professional care and good home oral hygiene. Periodontitis is categorized by irreversible bone loss that results from untreated gingivitis. The gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line which traps food and plaque. Dental treatment and home care can help prevent from further damage, but at this stage, the results are not reversible. Advanced periodontitis is when the fibers and bones supporting the teeth destroyed. This may cause teeth to shift or loosen. Teeth may have to be removed depending on how advanced the disease has become and if treatments are not effective. You can begin by preventing gum disease with good oral health. Pick up a brochure or ask your dentist today.

Periodontal disease treatment options

Periodontal Disease is also known as Periodontitis or “gum disease.” If you have signs of gum disease, it is essential to see your dentist and start treatment as early as possible to minimize damage to your gums, teeth, and jawbone. Signs of gum disease are swollen gums, painful gums or teeth, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. At Pearl Dental Care, we offer several treatment options designed to halt the progression of gum disease and treat the underlying infection. Our dental team will perform a thorough evaluation of your gums to determine the best treatment choices for your specific needs, which may include:

  • More frequent professional cleanings: In its early stage (gingivitis), gum disease is reversible, and, in some cases, diligent home care and increased frequency of professional cleanings are all that is needed to restore health to your gums.
  • Scaling in the presence of gingival inflammation: A thorough cleaning above and below the gumline for gingivitis.
  • Scaling and root planing: Also called “deep cleanings,” this non-surgical periodontal disease procedure is performed to remove calculus and bacteria from above and below the gum line (in periodontal pockets). After cleaning the area, the tooth root is smoothed out to help the gums reattach to the teeth.
  • Osseous surgery: Also called “pocket reduction surgery,” this treatment is performed to reduce the size of periodontal pockets that have developed in your gums and may be recommended if you have periodontal pockets that have become very deep. Our treatment for the most advanced periodontal disease cases.
  • Perio Protect: A minimally invasive treatment option that uses patented, customized trays that deliver prescription medication deep into the gum tissues to fight disease-causing bacteria, cleanse periodontal pockets, and freshen your breath. The trays are worn for just minutes each day in the comfort of your home and can be used as a stand-alone treatment option or as a supplement to other gum disease therapies.

Learn more about periodontal disease 

Contact Drs. Gary and Scott Pearl at Pearl Dental Care if you believe you are dealing with periodontal disease or want to work with a dentist in the Hamden CT area that provides education on proper oral health habits, you can reach us by calling (203) 285-8245.

Actual Patients Before and After Results

Snap-on smile before and after
We used clear aligners to improve the deep bite to show more of her smile and corrected the lower right premolar that was sticking out. Close-up of a person's mouth and teeth.