I changed to a new dentist and was told I have gum/ periodontal disease and need additional procedures performed. How can this be since I get regular cleanings?
These changes may be due to stress factors causing an alteration in your gum and bone health leading to gum or periodontal disease. The changes in your gum health can come from bacteria, mechanical stress and/or environmental factors.
If you have not been properly cleaning bacteria off by brushing, flossing and using a water-pick, you are allowing bacteria to build up which causes breaking down of the gum tissue attachment.
If you grind or clench your teeth, this increases the mechanical stress on the gum and bone. If your health status has changed and you are taking new medications, this may be causing inflammation, creating the pockets and bleeding that is characteristics of periodontal disease.
At each of your check-ups, your gums should be measured thoroughly to determine if there have been any changes. Any minor changes should be discussed to create a plan to prevent progression.
Gum/periodontal disease is important to treat in order to maintain the health of the bone supporting the teeth and to prevent heart disease. You will want to make sure your hygienist and dentist are taking all measures at your check-ups to ensure early diagnosis.