Periodontal or “gum” disease causes destruction of jaw bone and gum attachment to your teeth. Periodontal disease can result in progressive recession or deepening gum pockets. Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss among adults in Canada. Excellent oral hygiene in conjunction with regular dental cleanings and examinations are of critical importance in the early detection and prevention of periodontal disease. Dr. Hornby and the hygienists can help you to develop a reliable oral hygiene regimen that will protect your teeth and gum tissues long-term.
Plaque is a tenacious and sticky substance containing destructive bacteria. Plaque adheres to your teeth and can contribute to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Over time, plaque absorbs Calcium and Phosphate from saliva and hardens to form tartar or calculus. Your body mounts an inflammatory response to the bacteria in plaque and tartar. This reaction involves production of agents to destroy bacteria but also results in slow destruction of gum tissue, periodontal ligament attachment to teeth, and the jaw bone encasing and supporting tooth roots. This can result in gum recession or the formation of deep (and difficult to clean) gum pockets.
Scaling and root planing or “dental cleanings” are among the most common and effective treatments to minimize plaque and calculus and prevent periodontal disease. These treatments reduce inflammation and allow for healing and reattachment of the gums to your tooth root. Thus, regular periodontal maintenance or dental cleanings can reduce gum recession, deep gum pockets, and prevent gum disease. Depending on the prevalence and severity of deeper gum pockets in a patient’s mouth, a 3-, 4-, or 6-month cleaning interval might be recommended.