Periodontitis is a gum disease that results from improper brushing and flossing. Most of the time, we find these cases of gum disease in patients who have been away from the dentist for a while.
Periodontitis is loss of bone of the jaws that is caused by a bacterial infection under the gum line. When these bacteria are not properly removed by a professional, they begin to multiply and excrete waste products (acids) that eat away at the jaw bone and gums. The result is a progressive gum infection and eventual loss of the teeth. As more and more bone is eaten away by this bacterial infection, the teeth no longer have a stable support system. They become loose and eventually they will need to be removed.
We treat these gum infections using periodontal therapy. Periodontal therapy involves the use local anesthesia and special instruments to remove plaque and bacteria buildup below the gum line. These are places that are not accessible by toothbrush and floss. They can only be properly cleaned by a dental professional.
After periodontal therapy, we have the patient return on a maintenance schedule of regular three months intervals to be sure we are keeping a close eye on their progress and also to make sure there are no relapses into a state of periodontal disease. A lot of the time, these three-month checkups are covered by dental insurance.