3 Types Of Treatments Needed For Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease or gum disease is incredibly common, especially in older Americans. However, this condition is not a normal part of aging, and you can prevent, treat, and reverse the condition. If you would like to know how to treat periodontal disease, keep reading.
1. Tartar and Plaque Control
The leading cause of periodontal disease is infection from poor oral hygiene and lots of plaque/tartar. For this reason, the first step in fighting periodontal disease is good oral hygiene, including at-home and in-office care. At home, brush and floss regularly and limit sugary or starchy foods when possible.
In office, regular dental cleanings help prevent periodontal disease, but when you have gum disease, your gums pull away from your teeth, creating small gaps between the teeth and gums. The gums house the tooth's root, which is not protected by enamel. These widening gaps expose the tooth roots to decay.
Deep cleanings involve cleaning teeth below the gumline, which can cause discomfort and bleeding, so your dentist may recommend local anesthetic. Once the tooth is cleaned, the dentist smooths any rough patches (root plaining) because these rough patches are easy for bacteria to cling to.
2. Infection Fighting Medications
Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, you need antibiotics to help fight the disease. In most cases, however, your dentist won't prescribe a pill like with a tooth infection. Instead, your dentist may prescribe antimicrobial mouthwash or gelatin-filled chips. These chips are inserted into the space between the gums and teeth to fight the infection directly.
3. Restoration Procedures
If you had mild periodontal disease, your gums should revert to normal after the infection. Small pockets shrink, and the gums become pink again. However, if you had advanced periodontal disease, surgical solutions may be needed to restore the gums.
Many patients with advanced periodontal disease need gum flap surgery to reposition the gums. During the procedure, an incision is made, allowing the dentist to pull down the flap of gums, exposing the tooth's roots. After cleaning the roots, the dentist replaces the gum tissue.
If gum tissue has been lost, your dentist may suggest a gum graft. Alternatively, the dentist may recommend guided tissue regeneration. This procedure is commonly done in addition to other surgical treatments. The dentist applies a mesh fabric between the jawbone and gum to stimulate gum tissue growth and bone tissue growth.
Periodontal disease can destroy your gums, teeth, and jawbone. However, treatment can help stop and reverse the effects of the disease. For more information, contact a company like Comprehensive Dental Care.