Taking proper care of your mouth is essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Along with regular brushing and flossing at home, you should also have at least two professional cleanings and exams every year. Skipping out on, or being lax in, any part of your oral care routine can greatly increase your risk of developing issues, including periodontal disease. When you have periodontal disease, professional treatment is needed. At Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we can stop the progression of periodontal disease, and help to restore your oral health, with periodontal therapy.
Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a serious condition that can have major consequences on your oral, and overall, health. When it starts, however, it does not often seem like a big deal. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque and bacteria irritate your gum tissue. Irritation triggers an inflammatory response, causing the gums to swell. Swollen gums eventually start to pull away from their snug location against your teeth, causing pockets to form. Bacteria fall into the pockets and get trapped. They continue to attack the gums and also begin attacking periodontal ligaments and bone. Eventually, the gums begin to recede and the teeth become loose. Infections can form, and your teeth can even fall out.
What is Periodontal Therapy?
Gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of periodontal disease, characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss, is the only stage that can be reversed at home. However, because this stage often goes ignored or unnoticed, it progresses, and periodontal disease then requires professional treatment. Some professional treatments involve surgery, which can cause discomfort and swelling following the procedure. Instead of surgery, we offer periodontal therapy.
Periodontal therapy is a non-invasive way to treat gum disease, helping to avoid the need for surgery. The procedure involves scaling and root planing, or deep cleaning of your teeth. While non-invasive, your gums may be sensitive, so a local anesthetic is administered to avoid discomfort. Scaling involves the use of a specialized scaler that allows us to remove even the most stubborn buildup from all surfaces of your teeth. Root planing is the smoothing of your tooth roots. With a smooth surface, it becomes significantly more difficult for the new buildup to accumulate. Once your procedure is complete, we schedule you for a six to eight week follow up, which allows us to make sure that the treatment is working.
In some cases, a single scaling and root planing treatment are not enough to stop the progression of periodontal disease. If your teeth are not thoroughly cleaned, your oral health will continue to suffer. In this case, we may recommend periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a series of regularly scheduled visits for exams and cleanings. The frequency of your cleanings depends on your circumstances. Some patients need maintenance every two months, while others may only need maintenance every six months.
During your maintenance visits, we look at the condition of your gums, measure periodontal pockets, and take X-rays. X-rays enable us to monitor the condition of the jawbone and periodontal ligaments. After we examine your mouth, we clean any buildup that may have accumulated since your last visit. With these visits, we are able to make sure that periodontal disease has indeed been stopped and your mouth is beginning to heal.
Periodontal disease does not clear up on its own. Ignoring the condition and putting off treatment only allows it to progress, which can have some serious consequences. Periodontal therapy helps to stop the progression of periodontal disease so that your mouth can begin to heal. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, call Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today at 508-441-4154.