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Periodontal Disease Maintenance

Gum disease is extremely common, affecting nearly half of the American adult population. However, just because this disease is common does not mean that it should be ignored or disregarded. While early-stage gum disease is relatively benign and can be reversed, the more advanced stages of this disease need to be treated as a chronic disease with a treatment protocol known as periodontal (gum) disease maintenance. If left untreated, advanced gum disease (called periodontal disease), can lead to a host of complications such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and even death. That is why we here at Lisa Gitelson, DMD provide periodontal disease maintenance to our patients with this type of severe gum infection.

Diagram of a normal tooth and a tooth with Periodontitis used by Tigard dentist at Lisa Gitelson, DMD.

Gum Disease & Oral Hygiene

One of the leading causes of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. The early stage of this disease is known as gingivitis and can be cured at home by introducing a strong dental hygiene regimen. This includes brushing your teeth twice per day, for two minutes each time, at a 45-degree angle with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing every night is also key to preventing gingivitis, and to get your teeth clean, use an 18-inch length of floss and run it between your teeth and up under your gumline, using a fresh segment of floss per tooth. Antibacterial mouthwash can also be beneficial, but it is no replacement for brushing and flossing.

Gum Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, and painful gums. Please note that gum disease is not always going to be painful, so you must be alert to other signs of it. For instance, you may notice blood in your saliva when you brush and floss. You may have a foul taste in your mouth, or you may also have bad breath (halitosis). Your gums may start to recede as your gum pockets deepen, and you may start to develop loose teeth. You might even start to lose your teeth altogether.

What Does Periodontal Disease Maintenance Include?

Once your gum disease progresses to become periodontal disease, it is no longer considered curable and must instead be managed. That is where periodontal disease maintenance comes in. When our patients schedule regular dental appointments, which are advised every six months, we perform something called a prophylactic cleaning. This helps remove all calculus and buildup from your teeth. For our patients with periodontal disease, though, we advise more frequent dental appointments at three-month intervals. During these appointments, we will perform something called a deep cleaning.

Deep cleaning is a more intensive cleaning and includes a procedure known as a scaling and root planing. Unlike a routine cleaning, a scaling and root planing removes all calculus (tartar) from your teeth and smooths down the surface of your tooth roots. Once your tooth roots are smoother, your gums will have a clean surface to adhere to. This can prevent further progression of your infection and help prevent your gum pockets from deepening and causing tooth loss.

If you suspect that you have gum disease, it is important that you call us right away for treatment. If you ignore it, you may lose your tooth and suffer from the many other illnesses associated with gum disease. To learn more about periodontal maintenance, or to schedule an appointment at our office here at Lisa Gitelson, DMD, please give us a call here at (503) 985-8945 today!

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD
14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
M-W 7-5,

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD | | (503) 985-8945
14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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