Periodontal or gum disease is a severe infection of the gums that damages the soft tissues and the underlying bone that holds the teeth together. Thus, such infection can ultimately result in loss of tooth – among other complications such as infection in other parts of the body. In fact, progressive periodontal disease can result in coronary artery disease, respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
If you have symptoms or have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, however, you need not worry about the complications associated with it. Your dentist can successfully treat your condition and restore your oral health.
Treatment Protocol for Periodontal Disease
When your dentist diagnoses you with periodontal disease, the typical treatment protocol followed as recommended by the ADA is described below:
- Scaling and Root Planing: This is the first step to treating gum diseases and entails doing a deep cleanse by removing plaque and tartar not only on and around the teeth but on the root surfaces too. This procedure encourages gum tissue to gradually heal and for periodontal spaces or “pockets” to grow smaller. Once the procedure is completed, the dentist may recommend the use of certain medications such as pills or mouth rinses that help with the healing process.
- Examination:During the follow-up visit, the dentist will take a close look at the periodontal pockets. If the infection was noticed at the initial stages, no further treatment would typically be required. If, however, the pockets are deep and are affecting the bone, a periodontist’s intervention would be required.
- Surgery: Surgery helps the specialist get into hard-to-reach areas around the roots of the teeth and under the gums. Removing the tartar build-up and inflamed tissues in the pockets can fix the damage caused by bacteria and help rebuild bone tissues.
- Bone/Soft-Tissue Grafting:Additional surgery to reshape and regenerate bones as well as rebuild gum tissue could be required. Bone or gum tissue grafts are natural proteins that encourage the body to repair the damage caused by the infection. These grafts are surgically placed in order for better growth of tissues.
Once the treatment for periodontal disease is completed, the dentist will suggest daily cleaning routines to maintain oral hygiene and regular checkups to ensure the infection does not relapse. Brush your teeth, eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water, and avoid tobacco products and you will be able to easily keep periodontal disease at bay.