What do you think of when you think of a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile? If you’re like many, you instantly think of your teeth. The health of your teeth is indeed essential for your oral health. Another part of your mouth that’s just as important is your gums.
Healthy gums, in addition to healthy teeth, help you to maintain optimal oral health. Advanced Dental Associates can help to ensure proper periodontal disease treatment in San Antonio, TX, to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
How Important are the Gums?
While your teeth might seem like the most crucial feature of your mouth, your gums are equally important. They play different roles. The gums are the soft tissue that surrounds your teeth. Healthy tissue forms a tight seal, protecting your teeth and jawbone.
Your gums help to provide additional support for your teeth, keeping them from shifting out of place. A healthy gum line also contributes to a beautiful smile.
What Happens if I Ignore My Gums?
Ignoring your gums and your oral health, in general, can lead to a condition known as gum disease. It develops when plaque and bacteria buildup near your gum line irritates the soft tissue. It might not seem serious when it first develops, but it can quickly worsen.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Advanced stages can also impact your overall health, leaving you at greater risk of developing some severe conditions.
How Do I Know if Something is Wrong?
When gum disease first develops, you might not know anything is wrong. You might notice some redness and swelling in its earliest stages but think nothing of it. Maybe you brushed your teeth too hard. You can also tell something is wrong if your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
Bleeding gums are a significant indication of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If you ignore these symptoms, you may begin to notice others, such as gum recession, bad breath, and tooth sensitivity.
If you see any of these symptoms or even suspect you have gum disease, calling and scheduling an appointment is a good idea.
How are Gum Issues Diagnosed?
Diagnosing gum disease requires a dental exam. During your exam, your symptoms are discussed. We look at your teeth for buildup. We check your gums for swelling and bleeding.
A special tool is used to measure the pockets around your teeth. We may also recommend X-rays to check around your teeth’ roots for bone loss.
What Happens if I am Diagnosed with Gum Disease?
If you receive a diagnosis of gum disease, treatment will be recommended. In addition to diagnosing the condition, we can also determine its severity. This helps us to choose the proper treatment for you.
Treatments that may be recommended include scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery, osseous surgery, gum grafting, and periodontal maintenance.
Periodontal Disease Treatment in San Antonio, TX
You most likely already know that regular cleanings are essential to maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing severe issues like gum disease. However, even with the best care, gum disease can still develop. Moreover, when it does, your oral care needs to change.
This includes how your cleanings are done. At Advanced Dental Associates, we can help patients with gum disease maintain a healthy mouth with periodontal maintenance.
How Do I Know if I Need Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a type of dental cleaning different from your standard regular cleanings or prophylaxis. If you are recommended periodontal maintenance, it is because you have been diagnosed with, and may have already received treatment for, gum disease.
You may have undergone scaling and root planing or have received flap or pocket reduction surgery. These cleanings aim to help improve your oral health and remain stable, preventing the condition from taking over your mouth and possibly claiming your teeth.
Why Can’t I Have a Regular Cleaning?
Regular dental cleanings, performed every six months, are meant for those with good overall dental health. With these cleanings, only the crown surfaces of your teeth are cleaned. However, with periodontal maintenance cleanings, we clean the crown surfaces of your teeth and the surfaces of their roots.
These treatments are done to eliminate all buildup above and below your gums, smoothing the surfaces of your teeth so that your soft tissues can begin to reattach.
As the tissue reattaches, the pocket depths between your gums and teeth become shallower. In doing so, you protect your tooth roots and jawbone.
Another significant difference between regular cleanings and periodontal maintenance cleanings is their frequency. In most cases, routine cleanings are done every six months.
When it comes to periodontal maintenance, cleanings are done more frequently. As your condition improves, the time between your cleanings may become longer, but they will never be spaced out any farther apart than every six months.
What if My Condition is Stable?
Even if your gum disease has been controlled and your condition is stable, you may still require periodontal maintenance. These cleanings may be six months apart but are still periodontal maintenance instead of standard prophylaxis. This is because once gum disease occurs, except for gingivitis, it does not ever truly go away.
For this reason, periodontal maintenance visits are crucial for controlling your gum disease, maintaining your oral health, and preventing the condition from taking over your mouth again.
Is Periodontal Maintenance Billed Differently?
Yes, a periodontal maintenance cleaning is billed differently than standard cleaning. Your insurance may have different coverages when it comes to periodontal maintenance.
Where it may completely cover a routine cleaning, it may only cover a part of a periodontal maintenance cleaning. Contact your dental insurance provider if you are unsure of your policy.
Treat Gum Disease Today
If you have been diagnosed with and treated for gum disease, periodontal maintenance and periodontal care can help you to improve and maintain your oral health. For more information, call Advanced Dental Associates at (210) 655-2753 today.