What is Periodontal Treatment?
Periodontal treatment is to cure periodontal disease, which attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva and if not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar) and then plaque and calculus begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Periodontal disease is a main cause of tooth loss and some researchers believe it can cause other diseases including stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease can affect these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease. To help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease, it’s important to have good oral hygiene, whichincludes the use of an electric tooth brushes and regular flossing. Eating a balanced diet and regular dental visits can help reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease.
Signs and symptoms that you may have periodontal disease includes bleeding gums, loose teeth, persistent bad breath, receding gums, red and puffy gums and tooth tenderness or discomfort.
How does the Procedure Work?
Depending on the severity of the disease, different methods will be used. Dr. Chao or Dr. Craw will evaluate you for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment. If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done half mouth (upper and lower right then left or vice versa) at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planning). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink.
What Happens after Treatment?
After treatment, medications and/or a special medicated mouth rinses may be recommended to help control infection and healing. It is always recommended for a periodontal patient to use an electric tooth brush and often a water pick. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist will then recommend that you see a Periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings, usually three or four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.
Request an Appointment
If you would like to make an appointment for a routine checkup, please send us an email or give us a call (714-924-3200).