Ways to Treat Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease

This is a bacterial infection that affects your gums. It can destroy your teeth, gums, ligaments, and bones that support your teeth if left untreated. Periodontal disease has also been associated with increased heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. Fortunately, the infection can be treated and kept under control, thus preventing it from becoming severe. If you’re looking for a periodontist, or you need dental crowns, oral surgery, or dental implants in The Woodlands, TX, consult Scott Young. He will help you address a full range of oral health care needs, with professionalism and the highest quality of care. Home care is important in preventing periodontal disease, but once infection sets in, diagnosis and treatment by a periodontist or dentist must begin. Afterward, the disease can then again be managed with home care routines and check-ups, among other medical interventions.

Beginning Treatment

When visiting your dentist, he or she will assess the condition of your teeth and gums, and take X-rays so as to determine the extent of the infection. They will examine the issue by measuring the depth of your periodontal pocket, and then have you schedule a time for deep cleaning. They will also give you instructions on home care and oral hygiene that leads up to the next appointment. Follow these instructions very carefully. A periodontist is a dental specialist who has received three additional years of training in the management and treatment of the effects of gum disease.

During the deep cleaning, the dentist will remove tartar through root planing and scaling. Root planing removes bacteria on the tooth root and is usually done with a laser. Scaling, on the other hand, which uses scraping and ultrasonics, helps to remove tartar above and below the gum line, which is where bacteria forms. Deep cleaning is an important first step to salvage your gums and teeth. Many dentists and periodontists offer anesthesia options for deep cleaning procedures, which range from numbing topical gels to numbing injections, nitrous oxide or sometimes, full sedation. If you experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure, let the dentist know. The dentist may insert antibiotic chips into the gum pockets to slowly dissolve and release medication that will kill the bacteria.

Treatment at Home

When at home, brush and floss your teeth at least once a day. Remember that the food and plaque get stuck underneath the gum line, which is where you should be targeting with the floss. When flossing, extend as far as you can without causing discomfort, and do this process for every teeth. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure about the flossing technique. When brushing, use a soft brush and pay attention to the gum line. If you can find an electric brush, all the better, as they are especially effective. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and an antibacterial ingredient such as triclosan, since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection.

Advanced Treatments

If needed, undergo a surgical treatment. If the disease is very severe, it has to be addressed with surgery. The most basic oral surgery that can be done is the flap surgery, where your dentist makes an incision in your gums, lifts them and cleans the infected bones, and necrotic cementum. After they have finished, the flap is sutured back. By exposing the infected area, oxygen can destroy a huge number of aggressive anaerobic bacteria, which even deep scaling and deep cleaning may find difficult to eliminate.