You probably learned to keep
your teeth plaque-free when you were a child. The techniques and tools that
were effective then are not sufficient to maintain your teeth and gums now that
they have been damaged by periodontal disease.
In a healthy mouth, the space
between the tooth and gums (called the sulcus) is normally only two to three
millimeters deep. Careful brushing and flossing will usually do a fine job of
keeping healthy teeth and gums free from plaque. But when you have periodontal
disease, the sulcus deepens, forming what we call pockets around your teeth.
Pockets are deeper than three
millimeters, so they’re much more susceptible to developing an accumulation of
plaque and diseasecausing bacteria.
Tooth roots and
bone are also affected
Another concern when you have
periodontal disease has to do with the shape of the roots of your teeth. When no
periodontal disease is present, the bone level is high and the gums attach
firmly at the necks of the teeth. You can easily wrap floss around this surface
and do a thorough job of keeping plaque off your teeth.
Periodontal disease lowers bone levels in your jaw and causes the gums
to pull away from the teeth. Plaque can now accumulate in the grooves on
the sides of the root surfaces. Floss glides over these indentations, without
removing the plaque.
cleaning tools are necessary
You need to use special tools and techniques to reach down beyond the normal
three millimeters to thoroughly clean the indentations in the sides of
the roots. There are tools made specifically for each area of your mouth.
It’s also vital that you see us for more frequent checkups, typically every
three or four months. Our Houston dentist will work with you to customize
a plaque-removal system and teach you how to use that system at home to
keep your teeth plaque-free.
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