Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth. The number one cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque. Plaque that stays on the teeth can harden and turn into tartar in as little as 24 hours. While brushing, flossing, and rinsing are absolutely necessary, they cannot always remove plaque from hard-to-reach spots, such as behind and in between teeth.
Dr. Fixari recommends that you have regular periodontal maintenance appointments about four times a year. During these maintenance visits, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned in order to remove plaque above and below the gum line. Dr. Fixari will then evaluate the health of your teeth and gums and advise you on any necessary changes.
Periodontal appointments typically include:
- An explanation of diagnostic X-rays: X-rays are taken to help spot any tooth decay, cysts, tumors, or bone loss.
- An examination of existing dental restorations: The integrity of your current fillings, crowns, bridges, or any other restorative work that you’ve had done in your mouth will be examined.
- Checking for tooth decay: Dr. Fixari will check all tooth surfaces for signs of decay.
- Screening for oral cancer: Dr. Fixari will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums looking for any cancerous signs or symptoms.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Dr. Fixari will set you up on a regimen for proper oral hygiene.
- Teeth polishing: Your teeth will be polished to remove any remaining plaque or stains.
If you are prone to quick plaque buildup, Dr. Fixari may advise you to use hygiene aids, such as an electronic toothbrush, a specialized periodontal brush, anti-plaque and/or fluoride rinses.
Remember that a gleaming smile is a team effort between you and your dentist. Good oral hygiene, however, begins at home.