Learn more about periodontal disease treatment options before making an appointment.
Your Gum Health
Over time and even with the best care, the surface of your teeth will accumulate residue which you may find a challenge to get rid of entirely. This residue is often referred to as plaque and when it remains on the teeth it hardens and forms calculus (which is a rough, porous substance. If left untreated, it could result in dental problems, particularly to the gumline.
The bacterial toxins in the build up on and under your gums can begin to break down the bone, as well as the connective tissues which are holding the teeth in place. Tartar and calculus are not easily cleaned by brushing and flossing the teeth. This is why it is so important to see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams and to follow good oral hygiene regimen at home.
You may also be facing a situation where there is inflammation around the tooth. When plaque and calculus are not properly removed, they could lead to the inflammation of the gums. This condition is called periodontitis. Some of the symptoms that you are likely to experience once this occurs include:
Bleeding of the gums when you try to brush or when you eat certain foods
Teeth that are loose and shaking
Bad breath that does not go away
Pain when chewing foods
Gums that seem to be receding, or teeth that appear longer
Depending on the severity of your situation a normal cleaning will not take care of the issues, and a treatment called scaling and root planning will be recommneded. This involves thorough cleaning of the root surface of the tooth. In this process, deep periodontal pockets will have their plaque cleaned out. Bacterial toxins are also removed as the tooth roots are smoothed which results in improved periodontal health. In certain situations a antibiotic can even be used in certain areas of your mouth for a better result.
Evaluation of Scaling and Root Planing
Once scaling and root planing or periodontal therapy has been done, you will be asked to return so that your mouth can once again be assessed. The periodontal therapy is not the end result, rather, it is the first step towards achieving periodontal health. Following this therapy, there will me some maintenance required to ensure that proper health is sustained.
There are cases where following periodontal therapy, and before maintenance can commence, further treatment is required. This is most likely to occur if there are pockets that have formed and have not healed the proper amount even with the best in office and at home care. This may result in seeing a specialist called a periodontist for further treatment.
Maintenance Following Periodontal Treatment
Following periodontal therapy, you will need specialized care for periodontal maintenance. This is because every patient requires a customized program to maintain periodontal health once it has been improved. In order to prevent the disease from occurring again, you may require to have cleaning treatments more than the traditional six-month. This means seeing your dentist 3-4 times a year for cleanings, instead of just 1 or 2. With a qualified dentist and hygienist at hand, your infection will remain under control. Periodontal disease is chronic, so if the right maintenance is not undertaken, there is increased possibility that it will recur.