How Is Gum Disease Treated
Progressive and incredibly detrimental to the oral cavity, gum disease is believed to be caused by the build-up of bacteria found naturally in all human mouths. There are several stages of gum disease, however, once it has moved beyond the initial stage known as gingivitis, gum disease cannot be cured. The technical term for gum disease is periodontal disease. While there are both non-surgical and surgical treatment protocols available, the latter stages require surgery to correct. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease and need treatment, or suspect you may have gum disease, please come see us at Periodontal Health Professionals so we can properly assess your situation.
Assessing Gum Disease
Our professional staff will perform an assessment to determine if patients have gum disease or not. If they do, we will determine what stage the disease is currently in. This begins by looking over the patient's entire health history. This is done to determine if they have any contributing factors which can increase their chances of having gum disease. Those factors can include whether they are a tobacco user or if they are taking any medication which can impact the body's chances of developing the disease. Staff will visually inspect the gum and teeth to determine how bad the plaque build-up is and to see if gum disease has started. They will also measure the pocket depth between the gum tissue and teeth. X-rays may also be used to determine how much, if any, bone loss there is due to the progression of the disease.
Not every treatment option involves surgery. One such option is called root scaling. Typically using soft tissue lasers, our staff can remove both bacteria, tartar, and plaque easily and quickly.
Another non-surgical treatment is root planing. This entails scraping the root to keep it as smooth as possible to make it more difficult for bacteria to grow there. This has been known to help shrink the pockets and reattach gums to the base of the teeth.
The final option for non-surgical treatment is antibiotics. They will help fight off the bacteria and help stabilize the oral cavity.
When gum disease moves into the latter stages, non-surgical treatments simply will not work. There are numerous surgical procedures available which can address gum disease. Flap surgery is used to reduce pocket size along the gumline. An incision is made, exposing the roots so scraping and planing can be done more easily. Gum grafts can also be employed to help receding gums. To strengthen the underlying bone structure when it has been compromised, bone grafts are recommended.
If you haven't realized it by now, brushing and flossing a minimum of twice daily is incredibly important. Your parents and your dentist were right. It is the single most important weapon in your arsenal when combating the dangerous bacteria in your mouth. Mouthwash also helps when used to rinse following brushing and flossing.
It is imperative to have regular cleanings and examinations to make sure patients maintain a healthy level of oral health. Contact our office at Periodontal Health Professionals so we can discuss the options available and address any questions you may have. Our number is (856) 702-4340.