Prevention & Oral Care

Laurier Dental CentreRegularly brushing and flossing your teeth can help prevent the risk of gum and periodontal disease which affects the tissues supporting the teeth. Prevention of periodontal disease is important as it may be directly linked to more serious health issues. Taking the time each day to perform thorough oral hygiene is one of the best defenders of your overall health.

Regular dental hygiene appointments can help protect your overall dental investments of fillings, crowns or implants, by ensuring healthy tissues to support the dental work.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is often painless with few symptoms. Many people overlook the early warning signs like bleeding gums. Periodontal diseases are no longer viewed as an inevitable result of aging. Rather, periodontal disease can arise when specific oral bacterial cause infection, combined with host response (ability to fight infection).Other possible risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, cancer drugs, oral contraceptives, some anti-seizure medications and some calcium channel blockers, can contribute to the disease. Often, a higher rate of periodontal disease occurs when there is a combination of risk factors; such as smoking and diabetes, which potentially increases the severity and aggressiveness of infection.

The bacterium from chronic periodontal infections enter the circulatory system and may contribute to, or cause, complications with heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, diabetes, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Controlling harmful bacteria levels becomes critical in reducing the severity and destructive capacity of periodontal diseases. Our Dental Hygiene team will provide scaling and root planing and oral hygiene coaching to guide our clients towards optimal oral health.

Scaling and Root Planing

What is scaling?
It is the process of removing plaque biofilms which is a byproduct of bacteria, as well as dental tartar known as hard plaque, from the tooth surface above the gumline.

What is root planing?
Root Planing may also be called “deep cleaning” it is the process of smoothing the root surface below the gumline where the bacteria are more dangerous and destructive.

Does it hurt?
Depending on the depth of pocketing and severity of root surface irregularity the client may be offered either injectable anaesthetics to freeze tooth and gums, or non-injectable Oraqix for numbing the gum only.

How long does it take?
Typically with deeper pockets and extensive root roughness the appointments will be done in four sections of the mouth or in half-mouth segments. This allows for only half of the mouth to be numb at a time and provides a more manageable, shorter length appointment.

What can I expect afterwards?
Some discomfort can be expected after the appointment, but will vary depending upon the severity of the pocketing and from person to person. Some may find the teeth to be more sensitive to cold temperatures; in which case a sensitivity toothpaste is quite effective.. In the case where the gums may feel tender, almost like a bruised feeling, an over-the-counter medication for discomfort can be used, if needed. Persons with diabetes and/or those who smoke may experience delayed healing time and a higher incidence of root sensitivity after root planing, which can be managed with home fluoride treatments, if necessary. Expect the gums to bleed while healing is occurring. Ensuring proper oral hygiene through brushing twice daily, flossing or flossing alternatives such as soft piks, stimudents, floss wands, as well as using a mouthwash, will assist the healing process.

Congratulations starting on the path to improving your oral health! Your investment in your oral health could provide greater returns to your overall health. And that’s something to smile about!