Treating Gum Disease (GINGIVITIS or PERIODONTITIS)
Your gum disease or Perio treatment will depend on several factors, including your personal health history and the stage of your gum disease. The Perio treatment includes:
In the very early stages – when it is gingivitis – you may just need a professional cleaning by our dental team. They can also give you some great advice and tips on how you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If your gum disease is beyond gingivitis, the first step in treating gum disease usually involves a special deep cleaning called scaling (process of removing plaque and tartar down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket) and root planing (the root surfaces of your teeth are smoothed, or “planed”, to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth). This treatment may be done over more than one visit (usually it takes 3 visits, once per week), depending on your personal needs.
Belong the treatment we may recommend certain medicines to help control infection and discomfort or to aid healing. You may be given pills, a mouthrinse or we may place medication directly into the periodontal pocket after the treatment.
We use lasers as replacement or supplement to standard periodontal procedures, and the results show that in the long run, laser therapies are more successful because laser beams are more efficient at killing bacteria. In comparison with traditional methods and surgical instruments, laser are gentler, more predictable and in many cases they provide painless therapy without the application of local anesthesia. The advantage of lasers in the treatment of periodontal diseases is that laser light precisely targets only the inflamed tissue, so with special endings we penetrate the periodontal pocket and if necessary remove the affected tissue and the invisible calculus under the edge of the gum, and eliminate the bacteria and their products which cause the inflammation.
Sometimes, scaling and root planing + the use of laser isn’t enough treatment on its own. If pockets do not heal enough after scaling and root planing, additional laser therapy, gum surgery may be needed. Surgery allows your dentist to remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas. Afterwards, your gums will be stitched into place to tightly hug your teeth. Surgery can also help to shrink pocket depth and make it easier for you to keep your teeth clean.
How to keep your teeth and gums healthy after treatment
Once your gum disease is under control, it is very important for you to get dental care on a consistent basis. The periodic cleanings recommended after these treatments are called periodontal maintenance care. These cleanings are more extensive than the standard cleaning and will help you keep your gums healthy. Your periodontal maintenance involves cleanings that are deeper than a normal cleaning in the dental office. With periodic maintenance, the amount of plaque bacteria is lowered. Then, the inflammation can get better, pockets can shrink and your gums can become healthier.
Once your gum disease is brought under control, it is very important that you get dental care on a periodic basis. You have a better chance of keeping your teeth if you do. Your gum disease may get worse if you don’t!
You will need to see your dentist more often than other people. The pockets and other issues from your gum disease will make it harder for you to clean plaque from your teeth. We will talk to you about a treatment plan that works best for you, and will recommend a maintenance care schedule that is based on your personal case. Over time, fewer appointments may be necessary. Once your gums are healthy, we will determine a maintenance schedule based on your clinical evaluations.
You may also need special medications than can help control the infection and pain or to help your gums heal. The medicine could be a pill, a special mouthrinse, or a medication that we will place directly into the pocket right after deep cleaning.
Your teeth and gums may be sensitive after your treatment. This soreness may make you want to avoid cleaning the treated areas. But it’s important to follow our instructions on home care! If plaque is not removed, root decay may form. We may recommend special toothpaste or other treatments that can lower your tooth sensitivity.
It is very important that you brush and floss every day – especially if you are healing from gum disease.
Brush two times every day for two minutes each time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps keep teeth strong.
Clean between your teeth every day to remove plaque and bits of food from in between your teeth. If your gums have pulled away from your teeth, it may be best to use special tiny brushes, picks or wider types of floss and picks to clean between your teeth.
We recommend regularly using a specific mouthrinse.
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