Comprehensive Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is more common than you might think. Because it is not usually detected until it has reached advanced stages, many people may have this disease without even knowing it.
Periodontal disease is serious. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. New research is exploring possible links between gum disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other serious ailments.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable and treatable.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease occurs in the pockets where teeth and gums meet. If bacteria accumulate there they will start to destroy the gums and jaw bone.
Bacteria emerge from the plaque and tartar that build on our teeth. If plaque and tartar are not regularly removed, the bacteria increase and so does the risk of gum disease.
Although it is painless in its early stages, a dental professional can detect early signs of gum disease at regular cleaning appointments. In its late stages gum disease is characterized by red, swollen gums, bleeding during flossing or brushing, loose teeth and persistent bad breath.
Treatments for Periodontal Disease – Ensure the Health of Your Gums
If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease there are a number of surgical and non-surgical treatments available, depending on the severity of the disease.
* Scaling and Root Planing
An important goal in the treatment of gum disease is to remove pathogenic bacteria from the teeth and gums. This is done with a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planning. Scaling involves removing plaque and hard deposits (calculus or tartar) from the surface of the teeth, both above and below the gum line. Root planing is the smoothing of the tooth-root surfaces, making them more difficult for bacteria to adhere to.
As gum disease progresses, periodontal pockets and bone loss can result in the formation of tiny, hard to reach areas that are difficult to clean with handheld instruments. Sometimes it’s best to try to disinfect these relatively inaccessible places with a prescription antimicrobial rinse (usually containing chlorhexidine), or even a topical antibiotic (such as tetracycline or doxycyline) applied directly to the affected areas.
* Bite Adjustment
If some of your teeth are loose, they may need to be protected from the stresses of biting and chewing — particularly if you have teeth-grinding or clenching habits. It is possible to carefully reshape enamel to change the way upper and lower teeth contact each other, thus lessening the force and reducing their mobility. It’s also possible to join your teeth together with a small metal brace so that they can support each other, and/or to provide you with a bite guard to wear when you are most likely to grind or clench you teeth.
* Oral Hygiene
Since dental plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease, it’s essential to remove it on a daily basis. That means you will play a large role in keeping your mouth disease-free. You will be instructed in the most effective brushing and flossing techniques, and given recommendations for products that you should use at home. Then you’ll be encouraged to keep up the routine daily.
We offer the latest treatments for periodontal disease, but we always stress the importance of prevention. To ensure the health of your gums, contact our office for an appointment and be sure to make brushing and flossing part of your oral health care routine.