Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. Over 75% of Americans suffer from periodontal disease and are not aware of it.
If the disease is caught early when it is in the gingivitis stage, and no damage has been done to the supporting structures under the teeth, a professional cleaning may help for treatment. The treatments can vary depending on how severe and the type of gum disease.
A professional cleaning for periodontal disease is a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. During this treatment the dentist plaque and tarter down to the bottom of each tooth periodontal pocket. This treatment can be done on a continual basis depending on your needs.
The dentist may also recommend medications to help control infection, pain, and aid the healing process. Periodontal medication may include a mouth rinse, a pill, or a treatment placed directly into the periodontal pockets after the scaling and root planing.
After a few weeks or months from your scaling and root planing treatment, another dental visit will be made. At this dental visit our hygienist or dentist will look at your gums to see if the periodontal disease has healed. We will measure the periodontal pockets. If the pockets have begun to get deeper it is a sign that the supporting bone is lost and more treatment will be needed. If the periodontal pockets have healed no treatment is needed.
Periodontal Surgery is another treatment if the pockets do not heal enough after scaling and root planing. Surgery can reduce pocket depth making it easier for the dentist to remove tarter and plaque as well as help make it easier to keep teeth clean.
If the bone has been damaged from periodontal disease then surgery may be needed to reshape and rebuild the bone. When too much gum or bone has been lost the dentist may do what is called a gym or bone graft. Another option is for the dentist to place a membrane layer to help the gums stay in place while the tooth root reattaches to the ligament. This process is called guided tissue regeneration.
After surgery the dentist may recommend a mouth rinse, antibiotic, or pain reliever.
Once the periodontal treatment is complete our dentist may recommend frequent checkups and cleanings to help keep it under control and healing.
To prevent Periodontal Disease or to keep it from coming back you must practice good oral hygiene at home. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss your teeth once a day. Daily oral hygiene at home will keep plaque and tarter from building up.