Periodontal Treatment And Therapy
Your hygienist will typically be the first person to suspect periodontal disease or suggest the need for periodontal treatment while performing your cleaning.
Your dentist will then need to confirm that assessment and make the diagnosis and outline the needed action to control the disease.
In some cases, you might be referred to a Periodontist – a doctor who specializes in the treatment of gum diseases.
You may also be referred to your primary care physician since periodontal disease is sometimes a symptom with an underlying cause.
How Periodontal Disease is Diagnosed
During your regular cleaning and inspection, your hygienist will observe the condition of your gums.
Common symptoms of periodontal disease are:
- Red, swollen or inflamed gums
- Excessive bleeding during flossing or probing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Pain or sensitivity
Teeth are surrounded by pockets in the gum tissue.
Your hygienist will measure the depth of these pockets with a small probe.
Pockets that are deeper than normal (greater than 3 millimeters) are an indication of periodontal disease.
Additionally, X-rays detect bone loss that can occur with periodontal diseases.
The periodontal treatment varies depending upon the type of periodontal disease and the level of progression.
Types of Periodontal Diseases And Treatments
Periodontal disease comes in several forms which vary in immediate severity and methods of treatment.
But regardless of the type initially diagnosed, all forms are progressive and will become worse and more damaging if left untreated.
Below are the most common types:
This is the mildest form of periodontal disease, it is also very common.
Gingivitis can afflict anyone, but some people are at greater risk:
- People using steroids
- Pregnant women
- Women using birth control pills
- People using medication to control seizures
Fortunately, gingivitis is typically easy to reverse and control.
Professional cleaning and aggressive home care are usually enough to remedy the condition.
In some cases, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics and\or medicated rinses.
Chronic Periodontal Disease
Although this is a very common form of the disease, it most frequently occurs in people over the age of 45.
People suffering from this form of periodontal disease experience inflammation below the gum line, and ever-worsening loss of gum tissue and bone. Unlike Gingivitis, Chronic Periodontal Disease cannot be fully cured due to damage to the supportive tissue which cannot be reversed.
Your dentist will try to effectively halt further progression of the disease.
Root planning and scaling procedures remove plaque from below the gum line.
They normally complement antibiotic treatments.
Also, you may need to see a Periodontist.
A Periodontist can perform surgical procedures such as laser treatments, pocket reduction surgery and tissue grafts.
Aggressive Periodontal Treatment
This form of periodontal disease closely resembles Chronic Periodontal disease but progresses at a much faster rate.
Like Chronic Periodontal disease, Aggressive Periodontal Disease cannot be fully “cured”, but it can be controlled.
This course of treatment is identical to that for Chronic Periodontal Disease.
However, sufferers are much more likely to need surgical intervention to control further damage.
Systemic Periodontal Treatment
In some cases, periodontal disease may be a symptom of other health issues elsewhere within the body.
We have seen that many conditions such as respiratory diseases, heart disease and diabetes affect oral health.
Such conditions can cause or worsen periodontal afflictions.
Based upon the type of periodontal disease and the level of progression, your dentist will employ the same treatment methods listed above in an effort to halt the progression of the disease.
However, the ultimate goal will be to identify the underlying systemic cause; and then take measures to address that.
You can prevent most periodontal diseases with proper at-home oral hygiene.
But see your dentist for exams and professional cleanings regularly to avoid dental problems like periodontal disease.
Periodontal Treatment – It Is Urgent!
If your gums are red, swollen or bleeding, see your dentist right away.
Additionally, it is vitally important to start periodontal treatment at the first indication of disease.
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