What Is Prophylaxis?

Periodontal disease or gum disease is one of the most common dental problems in the world. In fact, nearly 42 percent of U.S. adults suffer from an advanced form of this disease.

When left untreated, periodontal disease could cause a host of issues. They include but are not limited to bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, toothache, and tooth decay. Advanced forms of the disease could lead you to lose your teeth.

That’s the scary part. But fortunately, even after being so widespread, periodontal disease is preventable. Targeted teeth cleaning and hygiene practices could help you steer clear of the disease. And going through procedures such as prophylaxis appointments with the help of your periodontist at Ferrin Periodontics is one of such processes.

What is Prophylaxis?

In literal terms, prophylaxis translates to the prevention of disease through different methods. When it comes to dental health, prophylaxis refers to a targeted teeth cleaning procedure that is done to prevent periodontal disease.

It also involves other diagnostic measures, such as studying your dental structure through x-rays and physical probing. This helps your dentist check the development of cavities and other issues.

The procedure is usually carried out by an experienced periodontist. Due to the prevalence of periodontal disease, this means that any experienced and credible periodontal disease expert at places like Ferrin Periodontics could perform the procedure in Medford & Grants Pass, OR. Reach out to Ferrin Periodontics to discuss this process today.

When Do I Need Prophylaxis?

If you are showing early signs of periodontal disease such as receding gums, bleeding gums, or sensitivity in teeth, then your dentist would recommend you to move forward with prophylaxis immediately. Otherwise, you may only need to get it done twice a year.

Periodontal disease is often related to poor dental hygiene. This is why having prophylaxis helps you clear up any existing dental hygiene issues. For instance, it could get rid of the buildup of plaque and tartar, which are two of the largest contributors to gum disease.

This helps you stay away from periodontal disease. If you are already showing early signs of the disease, the procedure keeps them from progressing further. This effectively saves you from larger issues caused by gum disease, such as tooth decay and tooth loss.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During a prophylaxis appointment, your periodontist will check your dental structure to check your oral health. They may also need the assistance of diagnostic imaging, such as x-rays.

Afterward, your periodontist will start a thorough teeth cleaning procedure with the help of special instruments. They remove the buildup of plaque, tartar, and visible stains that contribute to periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Once the procedure is complete, your periodontist will discuss ongoing dental care tips with you. You may feel bleeding or sensitivity in your teeth for a few days, but these symptoms will fade away on their own to leave your teeth feeling fresh and healthy.

In order to see if you need an immediate prophylaxis appointment, reach out to a credible periodontist at Ferrin Periodontics today

How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?

Your gums are one of the most often-overlooked parts of your whole body. Though they perform the incredible feat of keeping your teeth rooted into your mouth and providing them with the blood supply that keeps them alive and healthy so that you can bite and chew your food, people still tend to forget to take care of their gums. If this describes you, you’re not alone! In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately half of the U.S. population has some form of gum disease! If you think you may be among this group, you should make an appointment with your dental professional as soon as possible for a periodontal disease screening.


What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, covers a broad range of conditions pertaining to the health of your gums. These can range from relatively mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis), and may cause bone loss, tooth loss and other serious complications if left untreated. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Mouth pain accompanied by red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing, or when chewing hard foods
  • Gums appearing to recede from the teeth
  • Chronic mouth sores
  • Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loose-fitting teeth


What Are the Risk Factors of Gum Disease?

Though periodontal disease can affect virtually anyone, some factors may play into a higher risk of gum disease for some people. Some of these factors include:

  • Age- If you are over 65 years of age, you may be at increased risk of developing periodontal disease
  • Smoking/Chewing Tobacco- If you use tobacco products, you are more likely to experience symptoms of gum disease than your non-smoking peers
  • Medications- Certain medications, including oral contraceptives and antidepressants, may contribute to your likelihood of developing periodontal disease
  • Stress- Significant amounts of stress may lead to periodontal disease, as it decreases your body’s ability to naturally fight off infection


If any of these symptoms or risk factors describe you, it’s important to make an appointment with a periodontal specialist without delay, so that you can detect any issues with your gums before they become a major health concern. The team at Ferrin Periodontics in Medford, OR cares about your periodontal health and wants to make sure your gums stay healthy throughout your life. If you think you may have gum disease, call our Medford office today at 541-779-4501 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ferrin and his staff of caring dental professionals. Your gums are a vital, if often overlooked, part of your overall health- don’t wait to take care of them until it’s too late! Call now.