Dental hygiene and periodontal treatments for healthy teeth and gums
Most people know that they should visit the dentist a minimum of twice per year for regular cleanings and check-ups. Still, it can be challenging to find time to fit appointments into today’s busy schedules, particularly when your teeth and gums are not causing any pain. However, routine dental visits can reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the dental chair having more extensive procedures done. At Kenner Dental Group in Burien, Washington, preventive care is at the heart of our practice. We make dental hygiene visits convenient and offer a variety of periodontal treatments along with standard dental treatments, to ensure you receive the best treatment for your specific hygiene needs.
Why is dental hygiene crucial?
Maintaining a dental hygiene routine that consists of daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits keeps your smile healthy in several ways:
- Disease-causing plaque can harden into tartar (calculus) in as little as 48 hours if it is not removed from your teeth. Brushing a minimum of twice a day and after each meal, combined with daily flossing, helps to prevent plaque from forming and hardening into calculus. (Not to mention, it keeps your breath smelling much more enjoyable.)
- If tartar does form on your teeth (in those hard-to-reach areas), it cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone; only professional dental cleaning can successfully remove it from your teeth.
- If plaque and tartar are left on your teeth, they become a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease. Bacteria on your teeth secrete acid as a by-product, and this acid dissolves enamel, eventually becoming a cavity. Bacteria also play a role in periodontal disease, causing infections that result in bone loss and inflammation of gum tissue.
- Routine dental hygiene visits are also a valuable time for Dr. Kenner to detect potential oral health problems at the earliest stage possible when they are the easiest and least costly to treat.
Maintaining healthy gums
During your hygiene visit, the hygienist and Dr. Kenner give special attention to the health of your gums. In its initial stages, gum disease is called gingivitis and can be reversed with diligent home care and additional dental hygiene visits. However, if left untreated, gum disease will progress into periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is an irreversible condition of bone loss that can ultimately lead to receding gums, additional bone loss, and tooth loss. In addition, the chronic inflammation and infection associated with periodontitis can affect other areas of the body, including your heart, circulatory system, and immune system. Dr. Kenner and his Team offer the most comprehensive, customized treatment plans for gum disease based on your unique needs. This may include one or more periodontal treatments such as:
- Sub-gingival curettage (also called “deep cleanings” or “scaling and root planing”) to remove plaque and calculus from the periodontal pockets and tooth root surfaces, and promote re-attachment of the gums to the tooth roots
- Antibacterial lavage of the periodontal pockets to disrupt bacterial biofilms
- Oral or topical antibiotics to help eliminate the bacterial infection
- Soft-tissue laser treatment (Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy) to remove diseased gum tissue within periodontal pockets
- In severe cases where laser treatment is not enough, gum surgery may be necessary to remove the diseased tissue and correct defects in the jaw bone around the teeth
Don’t delay, schedule your dental hygiene visit today!
At Kenner Dental Group, our team of dental professionals provides compassionate, gentle care for patients of all ages. If you or a member of your family is due for your routine dental visit, call us in Burien, Washington today at (206) 208-2339 to schedule an appointment.