Periodontal Disease Therapy
While gum disease was once seen as a minor nuisance, there is strong evidence that the bacteria present in periodontal disease can work its way into your bloodstream and affect your overall health, as well as your oral health. This puts patients at a risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, pneumonia, pre-term births and more.
The levels of periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) range from mild to severe and the American Academy of Periodontology predicts that 75% of adults suffer from some form of gum disease. At Prosper Family Dentistry, we take the presence of gum disease very seriously.
Gum disease develops when bacteria from plaque on teeth builds up and eats away at healthy gum tissue. Mild periodontal disease can often be treated with dental deep cleanings where your hygienist will remove the bacteria from under your gum line. If your gum disease has advanced, more intensive periodontal therapy or gum disease treatment may be necessary. Sometimes periodontal disease can damage gums and jawbone health so severely that teeth need to be removed or replaced with restorative dental procedures.
Patients may not realize that they can still have gum disease even if they brush and floss daily and have bi-annual dental checkups. Because this infection can be invisible, as well as transferable, it’s important to have regular dental hygiene exams and check-ups. Prosper Family Dentistry can provide periodontal therapy before the disease develops into a more severe case. When it’s diagnosed in the early stages, treatment for gum disease is much easier.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to our doctors here at Prosper Family Dentistry. Our dental hygiene team can work with you to develop the best periodontal therapy for your smile.
How Does Gum Disease Treatment Work?
There are many different ways we can help you get your periodontal disease under control. Below are some of patient behavioral changes and office procedures we typically go through with you to get your gum disease under control:
One of the first things your dentist will recommend as a part of treatment for periodontal disease is a behavior change on your part. Since dental plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease, its removal on a daily basis is essential. For many patients this involves forming new oral hygiene habits, along with cessation of smoking and other lifestyle changes. Consistent behavior change is the most important element in maintaining long term periodontal health, since daily plaque removal in large part will set the stage for sustained, successful treatment.
Tartar Removal – Scaling & Root Planning
Cleaning however, isn’t all on your shoulders — your dentist will also see that your teeth receive a thorough cleaning in his or her office to quickly remove the deposits of calcified plaque called calculus or tartar and other bacterial toxins which become ingrained into the root surfaces. This process of mechanical cleaning is generally known as scaling and root planing using ultrasonic and hand scaling instruments. It may be carried out by a hygienist, a dentist or a periodontist, and sometimes requires local anesthesia. Scaling usually results in little or no pain, although in rare instances a patient may need mild pain medication for a day or two.
Follow Up Evaluation
After several weeks your our doctors will evaluate the response of your gingival tissues to the initial therapy. In early or mild cases the healing response may be good enough to return an individual to periodontal health. Your dentist will probably recommend a regular schedule of office checkups and cleanings to maintain this healthy state.
Occlusal Bite Therapy
Generally, attention to the bite or bite disorders are treated during or after initial therapy once an inflammation free environment has been established. This phase of treatment addresses such issues as loose teeth, clenching or grinding habits, may include localized grinding of some tooth surfaces or even orthodontic (tooth movement) treatment.
In more severe cases of periodontal disease that do not respond adequately to non-surgical initial therapy, surgical treatment may be necessary. Periodontal surgical treatment today encompasses a variety of sophisticated plastic surgical procedures. These include techniques to repair and regenerate soft (gingival) and hard (bony) tissues and replace missing teeth with dental implants. They are usually performed by a periodontal specialist trained in these techniques. Most procedures are performed with local anesthesia (numbing of the gum/periodontal tissues), and sometimes with the use of intravenous or conscious sedation. The objective of surgery is generally to eliminate pockets, regenerate attachment and return the patient to more normal function and esthetics, while generally providing an environment more conducive to oral hygiene and maintenance care.
If you think you may suffer from gum disease, call Prosper Family Dentistry to discuss your periodontal therapy options. We offer advanced technology at our dental practice here in Prosper, Texas that allows us to more fully diagnose your periodontal disease so we can develop a more comprehensive and effective treatment plan.