We care about protecting your oral health and smile, so Dr. Van Wicklen will monitor your mouth for any signs of gum, or periodontal, disease. Typically, gum disease presents with mild symptoms, so people often don’t realize they have a problem or how serious an issue it can be. Gum disease causes 70 percent of adult tooth loss and also contributes to underlying health conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and complications with diabetes and pregnancy.
How It All Begins
Hosts of bacteria live inside your mouth. These bacteria combine with food particles and other debris to create plaque, a sticky, colorless film that adheres to your teeth. Although brushing and flossing remove most plaque, any that remains hardens into tartar. If tartar builds up on your teeth, the gums become inflamed and irritated, a condition known as gingivitis. Without treatment, the gum disease will advance, causing your gums to pull away from your teeth and form pockets of infection.
Reviving Your Smile
Severe periodontal disease can lead to bone loss and loose teeth, so we look for any indications of gum disease during your appointments. Dr. Van Wicklen and our hygienist will develop a thorough treatment plan to stop the progression of gum disease and rejuvenate your mouth if we find problems. As the first step, we may suggest a deep-cleaning called scaling and follow it with root planing. With scaling, the hygienist scrapes the tartar off the teeth above and below the gum line. Root planing removes rough spots on the tooth root, eliminating the disease-causing bacteria. After periodontal therapy, you may need to schedule more frequent checkups so that we can keep your teeth and gums in top shape.