1. Why do I have bone loose even if I brush my teeth? What causes this disease?
The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque. A specific group of bacteria causes gingival inflammation. However, if left untreated, a more virulent group of bacteria,elliciting a complex immune response which ultimately leads to bone loss.
Other factors that may contribute to periodontal disease include such as: tobacco, smoking, genetical background, immunodeficiencies, diabetes mellitis and stress. If we carefully adhere to good oral hygiene at home and recommended maintenance visit, periodontal disease can be prevented.
2. What should I expect from periodontal surgery?
The goal of any periodontal disease is to improve periodontal health through surgical intervention in carefully selected cases in which conservative means cannot achieve this goal. For example, deep periodontal pockets around teeth collect bacteria leading to calcified plaques called calculus.
Periodontal surgery allows access to roots of these teeth so that calculus can be removed. In general, most periodontal surgeries are minor and you will be able to resume normal activity on the same day of the surgery. You may also notice an increase in space in between teeth due to the removed calculus that once preoccupied that space.
There may be some discomfort and increased teeth sensitivity once the anesthesia wears off. Do not worry! If you are experiencing these symptoms, pain medication and other modalities will be prescribed for your comfort.
3. What is periodontal maintenance?
Once active periodontal disease has resolved, it is important to continue periodic visits to the periodontist. These are called maintenance visits. The frequency of these visits is based on the individual risk factors to develop active periodontal disease. This may range from as frequent as two weeks to as long as six months.
During one of these visits, the hygienist examines the current periodontal state. This may require taking radiographs. If there are certain areas of active inflammation, the hygienist will address it by carefully cleaning and removing the source of inflammation ie plaque, calculus. In addition, all techniques required to maintain good oral hygiene at home will be reviewed.
It is important to remember that after active periodontal disease has resolved, the disease can continue to progress in a chronic faction. In other words, periodontal pockets and bone loss can continue to progress slowly even long after therapy. The periodontist will guide you with what needs to be done. The good news is that rarely does this chronic form happen in patients who are compliant with their maintenance.