Periodontal Care

PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth due to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). Once the plaque turns into tarter, the only way to remove it is through a thorough dental cleaning.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor Dental Hygiene habits
  • Long laps of time between professional cleanings
  • Poor or broken down restorations
  • Periodontal Disease

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress. Periodontal Disease can be maintained at the level in which you present; however it cannot be completely cured without regular dental visits and stringent home care. Call our office today if you have fallen behind schedule for your bi-annual dental visits.

NITROUS OXIDE

Nitrous Oxide is a safe sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. You will receive 50-70% oxygen with no more than 30% nitrous. You will be able to breathe on your own and remain in control of all bodily functions. You may experience mild amnesia and fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during the appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide:

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a "hangover".
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide:

You should not use Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or are pregnant. Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.