Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may appear. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and gums. Periodontal disease attacks just below the gum line in this crevice, where it breaks down the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues, causing a pocket.
The tragedy of unchecked periodontal disease is that sound teeth with no decay may literally “fall out of the mouth” because these attachments are erroded.
At Murphy Family Dental our four hygienists monitor the presence of periodontal pockets and confer with our dentists if periodontal disease appears to be present or progressing. Often we recommend evaluation by a periodontal specialist, who may send the patient back to us for scaling and root planing and/or more frequent cleanings. After scaling and root planing are completed or after surgery is performed by the periodontist, our hygienists see the patient regularly for periodontal maintenance, which, as the name implies, maintains the improvement in periodontal condition brought about by the earlier treatment.
If you have periodontal disease the most important thing you can do to keep it in check is to see your hygienist regularly and at recommended intervals. Think of it as an investment in keeping your teeth for the rest of your life.