How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Did you notice bleeding gums after brushing? Well, it could because of using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing forcefully. However, at times gum bleeding could be a sign of gum disease, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like discoloration.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is a gum infection that causes inflammation and receding of the gums. Poor dental hygiene is the primary cause of periodontal disease. When you brush improperly often, plaques will form on the teeth and along the gum line. As the plaque builds, they harden and develop tartar, giving room for bacteria to multiply.
Periodontal disease develops in stages, beginning with inflammation (gingivitis) to periodontitis. The initial stages of gum disease are asymptomatic and can easily go unnoticed. That is why it is recommended you visit your dentist every six months for assessment and professional cleaning.
Advanced periodontal disease is characterized by receding and darkening of the gums, idiopathic gum bleeding, and pus formation on the gums.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease
The periodontal treatment used will depend on the stage and severity of the gum disease. The treatments include:
1. Deep cleaning
Professional deep cleaning is the initial treatment, but it is an option if gum disease is not present. We perform deep cleaning during your routine dental checkup as a preventive measure. Professional cleaning is done to remove tartar, which helps to prevent gum disease.
2. Scaling and Root Planing
Moderate gum disease causes gum pockets to develop. Root scaling and planing are done to clean the tartar and reattach the gums back to the teeth.
Scaling is a deep cleaning of the gum pockets to remove any debris and calculus. Root planing is the reshaping of the roots for proper reattachment of the gums to the teeth.
Scaling and root planing are done on one dental visit, but for severe gum disease, you may need two or three dental visits.
Antibiotics are prescribed to control gum bacterial infection. The dentist can prescribe antibiotic mouth rinse and gels. However, oral antibiotics are usually the drug of choice to eliminate the bacteria.
Surgical periodontal treatments are done on advanced periodontal disease, and they include:
- Pocket reduction surgery is done in combination with scaling and root planing. The dentist may contour the bone if there is a significant bone loss before the gums are reattached.
- Soft tissue grafting. Your gum line recedes due to the loss of the gum tissue. The dentist will extract soft tissues from the top part of the mouth to regenerate new ones. This will help reduce gum recession and cover the exposed root.
- Tissue stimulating protein is a technique that used protein-containing gel found in the enamel to stimulate the growth of bone and tissue.
- A bone graft is performed if the gum disease has destroyed the surrounding bone. Bone grafting uses granules from your body or cadaver to support the growth of new bone.
- Guided tissue regeneration uses a biocompatible fabric on your existing bone and tooth to prevent unwanted tissue from penetrating. It also promoted the growth of natural bone.
What to Expect During Your Appointment?
Our dentist first reviews your medical history to identify any factors that might be contributing to gum diseases such as smoking and dry mouth. Next, we examine your teeth and gums for tartar and bleeding. The dentist may also measure the pocket depth to determine the severity of the infection and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
What Can You Do?
It is crucial to have proper dental hygiene to prevent or reduce periodontal disease. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush, rinse with an antibacterial mouth rinse, floss, and get a regular dental cleaning. Also, avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
Gum disease can go unnoticed because it is asymptomatic. The best way to prevent the progression of the infection is to come for your routine dental checkup. However, if you have early signs of gum disease, visit Fox Creek Family Dental. We offer periodontal treatment in Thornton, among other dental treatments.