Preventing periodontal disease
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventing periodontal disease
F O R T H E D E N TA L PAT I E N T . . . including the color and firmness of the gums. APreventing very small instrument called a periodontal probe is used to gently measure the space between theperiodontal disease teeth and gums. This determines whether perio- dontal pockets are present. The normal space be- tween teeth and healthy gums should be three millimeters or less. Generally, the more advanced y the time people reach adulthood, the gum disease, the greater the pocket size.B their teeth and gingivae, or gums, have had quite a workout. When gums are healthy, they continue to fit snugly around the teeth. Many adults, how-ever, develop some type of periodontal, or gum,disease—an infection of the tissues that supporttheir teeth. Except in unusual cases, you can help prevent gum disease by brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner once a day. Choose products that display the ADA Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they meet the ADA’s criteria for safety and effec- tiveness. Your dentist may provide additional Some researchers suggest that there may be a instructions on cleaning methods or products youlink between gum disease and other health con- can use at home. Avoiding tobacco use and othercerns such as cardiovascular problems, stroke, healthy measures, such as eating a balanced diet,bacterial pneumonia and increased risk during are important in preventing periodontal disease.pregnancy. More studies are needed to determine Even if you brush and floss regularly, you mayif the bacteria or the inflammatory response asso- not remove all the plaque, especially around theciated with gum diseases play a role in these sys- gumline. Plaque can harden into a rough, poroustemic problems. deposit called calculus or tartar. Once hardened, it can be removed only in the dental office duringCAUSES your regular cleaning.Gum disease is usually caused by plaque, a sticky WARNING SIGNSfilm of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Ifplaque is not removed with thorough daily You may not even be aware that you have gumbrushing and cleaning between teeth, gums disease because often there is no pain. There arebecome irritated and inflamed. The irritated gum warning signs, however, and you should call yourtissue can separate from the teeth and form dentist if you experience any of the following:spaces called pockets. Bacteria move into the dgums that bleed during brushing;pockets, where they continue to promote irrita- dred, swollen or tender gums;tion. Left untreated, the process can continue dgums that have pulled away from the teeth;until the bone and other tooth-supporting tissues dpersistent bad breath;are destroyed. dpus between the teeth and gums; The early stage of periodontal disease is called dloose or separating teeth;gingivitis. It often results in gums that are red da change in the way your teeth fit togetherand swollen and may bleed easily. The good news when you bite;is that this early stage is usually reversible. da change in the fit of partial dentures.Sometimes, all it takes are more regular profes-sional cleanings and better home care. Prepared by the ADA Division of Communications, in cooperationPREVENTION with The Journal of the American Dental Association. Unlike other portions of JADA, this page may be clipped and copied as a handout forRegular checkups are important. During an patients, without first obtaining reprint permission from ADA Pub-examination, your gums are evaluated for perio- lishing, a division of ADA Business Enterprises Inc. For the Dental Patient was not developed to comply with legal requirements fordontal disease. The dentist looks at many things, informed consent. JADA, Vol. 132, September 2001 1339 Copyright ©1998-2001 American Dental Association. All rights reserved.