Periodontics

Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal (gum) diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis. They are serious infections of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal diseases can affect one tooth or many teeth. Their main cause is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth and harbors millions of microorganisms.

 

However, factors like the following also affect the health of your gums.

  • Smoking/Tobacco Use
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes during puberty
  • Pregnancy and Menopause in Women
  • Stress
  • Medications


To determine whether you have periodontitis and how severe it is, our Consultant Periodontist may:

  • Review your medical history to identify any factors that could be contributing to your symptoms, such as smoking or taking certain medications that cause dry mouth.
  • Examine your mouth to look for plaque and tartar buildup and check for easy bleeding.
  • Measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth by placing a dental probe beside your tooth beneath your gumline, usually at several sites throughout your mouth.
  • Take dental X-rays to check for bone loss in areas where your dentist observes deeper pocket depths.

 

Treatment
The goal of periodontitis treatment is to thoroughly clean the pockets around teeth and prevent damage to surrounding bone. You have the best chance for successful treatment when you also adopt a daily routine of good oral care, manage health conditions that may impact dental health and stop tobacco use.

 

Nonsurgical treatments

If periodontitis isn't advanced, treatment may involve less invasive procedures, including:

  • Scaling.
  • Root planning.
  • Antibiotics.

 

Surgical treatments
If you have advanced periodontitis, treatment may require dental surgery, such as:

  • Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery).
  • Soft tissue grafts. When you lose gum tissue, your gumline recedes. You may need to have some of the damaged soft tissue reinforced.
  • Bone grafting. This procedure is performed when periodontitis has destroyed the bone surrounding your tooth root.
  • Guided tissue regeneration. This allows the regrowth of bone that was destroyed by bacteria.

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