Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a serious oral health issue that begins as the result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. Bacteria cause your gums to become irritated, which then leads to inflammation. The longer periodontal disease goes untreated, the worse it becomes. When periodontal disease develops and is identified during a periodontal exam, treatment is needed right away. The exact treatment you receive depends upon the severity of the disease. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we can determine the severity of your periodontal disease and what treatment will provide you with the best results.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is one of the most common treatments for periodontal disease. This treatment is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth. Scaling is the cleaning of the surfaces of your teeth above the gum line. Using a tool called a scaler, we work to carefully and completely remove plaque, tartar, bacterial buildup, and other debris from your teeth. Special attention is given to the gum line. By removing this buildup, the irritation your gum tissue has experienced is alleviated.
Root planing is the cleaning of the root surfaces of your teeth. Using small, specialized tools, we can eliminate plaque, bacteria, and other toxins. This essentially smooths the root surfaces of your teeth, preventing new bacterial buildup. An antibacterial wash helps to kill any bacteria that might still be lurking below the gum line. A follow up is scheduled for 6 to 8 weeks later to make sure that your treatment is working.
Periodontal maintenance is a treatment that involves a series of regularly scheduled appointments for examinations and cleanings. This treatment is often recommended when an initial treatment has not yielded the desired results. During periodontal maintenance visits, we assess any buildup on your teeth, measure your periodontal pockets, and take X-rays. We also thoroughly clean your teeth. The frequency of these visits varies from patient to patient. Some patients may need periodontal maintenance appointments as often as every 2 months while others may only require visits every 6 months.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If your periodontal pockets are too deep to clean with scaling and root planing, you may be recommended for pocket reduction surgery. With this treatment, your gums are opened up so that we have access to the roots of your teeth. We are then able to thoroughly clean your teeth so that your gums can begin to reattach and your mouth can heal.
Osseous surgery is a surgical procedure performed when periodontal disease has affected the condition of your jawbone. When bacteria attack your jawbone, you may experience bone loss, leading to the formation of bony defects. These defects can provide hiding places for bacteria, preventing treatment from being effective.
Osseous surgery is typically performed in conjunction with pocket reduction surgery. Your gums are opened, exposing the roots of your teeth and your jawbone. The bony defects are smoothed. Your bone and teeth are thoroughly cleaned. After your gums are sutured closed, your gums can begin to reattach to the bone and your teeth, reducing pocket depth and restoring your oral health.
When periodontal disease develops, treatment is needed right away. The right treatment helps to stop the progression of the disease and restore your oral health. For more information, call Pacific Modern Dentistry today at (206)284-4505.