Preventative care is the best way to stop problems before they start. The American Dental Association recommends you see your dental provider twice a year for a comprehensive exam and cleaning. Those people with more complex periodontal disease may require more frequent cleanings in order to maintain health.

Each visit will include:

  • Examination of your teeth, gums as well as an oral cancer screening of your mouth, head and neck. Some visits may also require x-rays to ensure a thorough exam, the frequency of which will be determined by your dental provider.
  • Tartar Removal: calculus, or tartar, is hardened plaque that has firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and must be removed by a dental hygienist.
  • Plaque Removal: Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth. It’s a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. If not periodically removed, the bacteria produce toxins that infect and inflame the gums, the warning signs of periodontal disease.
  • Teeth Polishing: This removes stains and plaque that are not removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
  • Home Care Instructions: You’ll leave each dental visit with clear, easy-to-follow instructions on how to properly care for your teeth and continue to keep your winning smile.

Periodontal Maintenance

All is not lost if you have gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive infection that can start out with little or no symptoms. You might not even know you have the milder form of the disease, called gingivitis. Without treatment, it can develop into the more severe form, periodontitis. Fortunately, treatment for gum disease is available. The goals of gum disease treatment are to control infection, prevent tooth loss and stop the disease from causing permanent damage to your gums and jaw bones.

If you have gum disease, your dentist may provide gum treatment or you may be referred to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. Treatment for gum disease depends on how far the condition has progressed and how well your body responds to therapy.