Dentistry in CommackJuly 23, 2018
At your last hygiene visit at Dr. Helfner’s and Dr. Curro’s office, your dental hygienist diagnosed you with periodontal disease and recommended scaling and root planning, a periodontal therapy treatment. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and the attachment of the gum to the tooth. It occurs when the biofilm in your mouth, which has bacteria in it, causes inflammation. If the biofilm is not removed sufficiently with proper hygiene cleanings and regular brushing and flossing, that inflammation becomes chronic and will start to destroy healthy tissue. In the case of periodontal disease, it destroys the bone under your gums surrounding your teeth.
Unfortunately, once the bone surrounding your teeth is gone you can’t get it back, but you can prevent it from getting worse. Your dental hygienist recommended you return for two more hygiene visits to complete your scaling and root planning treatment. This treatment removes the source of the inflammation, bacteria in the biofilm, by cleaning out the pocket and removing any calculus deposits on the root of the tooth. The pocket will be reduced because the source of the inflammation, the bacteria in the biofilm, is removed and the inflammation is gone. Now your brush and floss can reach the bottom of the pocket and you can clean it sufficiently.
As you were leaving your last scaling and root planning appointment, your hygienist recommended you return in three months for a periodontal maintenance visit. “Three months? I always come in twice a year for a cleaning”, you say. Well, not any longer; your oral health has changed. You have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. All the research indicates that having periodontal therapy; scaling and root planning, returning every three months for a periodontal maintenance cleaning and performing proper regular brushing and flossing can stabilize your periodontal disease and help prevent it from progressing. I use the example of a person who is diagnosed with diabetes, they may eat right, take their medicine, monitor their blood glucose levels but they still have diabetes and need to follow up regularly with their physician. I hope this information proves helpful to you in trying to better understand your oral health.