Stanford Dental
Providing you with an exceptional experience at every visit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Periodontal Care

How can we help you?

Do you have questions about your oral health or your treatment recommendations? That is excellent, because you should ask questions about your health!

At Stanford Dental, we consider ourselves your partners, and we’re here to help you make the right decisions for your dental needs. We welcome any questions you have, and we’re happy to answer them.

We’ve gathered a list of some of the questions that we hear the most and provided the answers for you here. If you don’t see your question, we encourage you to call our office and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

Periodontal Care

In most cases, if detected early, periodontal disease can be prevented. There are different stages of periodontal disease, but the first stage is the only stage in which it can be reversed. This stage is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that happens when plaque, a naturally-occurring sticky film containing bacteria, builds up on teeth and causes the inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue. Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums. These toxins cause an infection in your mouth. Proper oral hygiene is one thing patients can do to try to control any infection that occurs in their mouth. The best hygiene tips include using an electric toothbrush twice a day for two minutes and using floss/waterpik once a day. The key to proper flossing is using a c-shape technique to disrupt and disturb the bacteria so it doesn’t have the chance to release the harmful toxins. Many patients have a hard time getting in the habit of flossing or waterpiking every day. Having a visual on your bathroom mirror to remind you or even changing up the time of the day are some tricks that can help prevent gingivitis from turning into periodontal disease. 

Seeing your hygienist on the intervals that she recommends is another way a patient can prevent periodontal disease. When there is destructive bacteria present in the mouth it takes about 90 days for that bacteria to destroy bone. Once a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease and that bone has been lost, we cannot get that bone back. This may be a reason your hygienist needs to see you more frequently until you can get to a healthier state. 

Diet is another way patients can try to prevent periodontal disease. A diet rich in leafy greens (vitamins A and C) and avoiding a diet full of starch and sugar can help reduce the amount of plaque build up. Patients will also want to avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco as that raises your risk of periodontal disease. 

Diet is another way patients can try to prevent periodontal disease. A diet rich in leafy greens (vitamins A and C) and avoiding a diet full of starch and sugar can help reduce the amount of plaque build up. Patients will also want to avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco as that raises your risk of periodontal disease. 

 

Healthy gums do not bleed when you brush and floss, but did you know that roughly 80% of Americans have gingivitis. The early sign of gingivitis is your teeth bleeding when you floss or brush. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible! The not so good news is that once gingivitis turns into periodontal disease, it is no longer reversible. This is why we educate our patients every time they come into our office, especially if we see bleeding during our cleanings. 

 

Here is an example we use with most of our patients. Put your two thumbs together and make a goal post with your thumbs and index fingers. That is the size of your mouth. If you had a wound on your leg the size of that bleeding, you would go to a doctor as quickly as possible to get it checked out. We know that bleeding that like would not be normal. The same principle applies to your mouth. Just because most Americans bleed when they floss, does not make it normal and it can cause serious implications. The number one reason Americans loose their teeth is due to periodontal disease and we want you to keep your teeth for your whole lifetime. Not to mention, that the bleeding is also a sign of bacteria that is flowing through your bloodstream from your mouth. This bacteria can lead to diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. So, if you bleed when you floss, please let us us know at your next appointment and we can help walk you through the steps to help you be able to keep your teeth for your lifetime.
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