Periodontal disease is the infection of the structures around the teeth, including the periodontal ligament, gums and alveolar bone. The infection starts from the gums- gingivitis and the tissues are involved when it becomes severe- periodontist. Bacteria cause periodontal diseases in the dental plaque where the immune system cells will release substances that will cause inflammation and destruction of the gums, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament.
There are several effective treatments that periodontist use to eradicate or stop the periodontal disease. The most effective treatment is preventive measures which involve good daily oral hygiene as it disrupts the growth of plaque. However, there are two forms of periodontal disease treatment, and these are non-surgical treatment and surgical treatment.
This is the first treatment of periodontal diseases, and it involves scraping and removal of the tartar and plaque and scaling the root surface and also smoothing of the tooth surface so as to discourage any buildup of tartar and bacteria. This is done through deep cleaning which involves two procedures, i.e., scaling and root planning. Both processes require more than one visit to the dentist, and at times a local anesthesia may be used to prevent any discomfort. Afterward, the gums heal and attach themselves to the healthy, clean teeth surface.
The use of oral or topical antibiotics can also be used to control bacterial infection. Topical antibiotics include antibiotic mouth rinse or antibiotic gels which are inserted into the space between your teeth and gums or pockets after a deep cleaning procedure. Oral antibiotics are used to eliminate the bacteria causing infection.
This is done for advanced periodontist, and it includes:
- Pocket reduction procedure– this is done if the gum tissue doesn’t fit snugly around the tooth after deep cleaning. It involves folding back the gum tissue so as to remove any infectious bacteria and then smoothing any areas of the damaged bone, hence allowing the gum to reattach to a healthy bone.
- Gum grafts– any exposed roots that are due to gum recession are covered by gum grafts where a gum tissue is taken from your palate or another source and used to cover the roots of one or more teeth. This is done to reduce sensitivity, protect the roots from decay and stop any gum recession and bone loss.
- Bone grafting– this is done where the periodontal disease has destroyed the bone surrounding your tooth. The dentist will remove the bacteria then place a synthetic or natural bone in the affected area, and this prevents any tooth loss by holding the tooth in place. He may also put tissue- stimulating proteins which help your body regrow the tissues and bones.
Proper oral home care is very important after periodontal treatment. This involves proper brushing and flossing techniques and use of antimicrobial mouthwash, so to reduce bacteria in the hard to reach places in the mouth. The dentist will recommend that you have dental visits after every three months so as to monitor the teeth, gum and bone status and make sure that you are completely healed with no evidence of bacteria.