Periodontal Disease Treatment

The term “periodontal”means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition which affects the supporting and surrounding tissues of the tooth; also the jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.​ Preventing periodontal disease is critical in preserving the natural dentition. Addressing the causes of gum disease and discussing them with your dentist and hygienist will help prevent the onset, progression, and recurrence of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist during a routine dental exam ​. Y​ our dentist will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue around your teeth. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed. It is important to minimize the effects of gingivitis through home-care and regular dental cleanings (to professionally clean areas of your gums your toothbrush is not able to). Otherwise, gingivitis may progress to more severe disease.

Periodontitis

Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar). As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Bone loss around the teeth also begins to occur..

Advanced Periodontitis

The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may even be lost.

Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.

If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called ​scaling and root planing (​ deep cleaning)​ will be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth 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 (​planing​). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.