Periodontal treatment is the specialist cleaning of your teeth and gums to help control the bacterial plaque that causes gum disease. The word ‘periodontal’ means inflammation around the tooth, also known as gum disease. Gum disease eats away at the gum and bone which support your teeth eventually leading to decay and tooth loss.
What is periodontal treatment?
Periodontal treatment is performed by a qualified dentist or hygienist. The main aim of treatment is to thoroughly clean the gaps and pockets between teeth to prevent damage to any of the surrounding bone and tissue.
Gum disease tends to sneak up on patients. The early onset is easily recognisable, common symptoms include:
- Gums that bleed during and after brushing your teeth.
- Red, swollen, or tender gums.
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
- Receding gums.
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums.
- Loose or shifting teeth.
Your dentist will need to determine how severe your case is. They may:
- Take x-rays of your teeth and check for bone loss.
- Look for plaque and tartar buildup and check for bleeding.
- Take a review of your medical history.
- Measure the depth grooves between your gums.
After diagnosis, there will be a conversation around the severity of your case. Your dentist will determine if surgical or non-surgical treatment will be required, this is why early diagnosis is important. The earlier the diagnosis the less likely surgical treatment will be.
As mentioned, there is a range of surgical and non-surgical options.
Less advanced gum disease can be treated with the following non-invasive treatments:
- Scaling- is the removal of tartar and bacteria from the teeth and periodontal pockets using instruments and ultrasonic devices.
- Root planing – Root planning smoothes the root surfaces, discouraging the further buildup of tartar and bacteria, and removes bacterial byproducts that contribute to inflammation and delay healing or reattachment of the gum to the tooth surfaces.
- Antibiotics – can help control bacterial infection. Gels and oral antibiotics are available. However, the oral variant at times is the only option to completely irradicate the infection.
If you have advanced periodontal disease is further advanced it may need the following surgical options:
- Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery) – Tiny incisions are made in your gum so that a section of gum tissue can be lifted back, exposing the roots for more effective scaling and root planing. After you heal, it’s easier to clean these areas and maintain healthy gum tissue.
- Soft tissue grafts – When you lose gum tissue, your gumline recedes. You may need to have some of the damaged soft tissue reinforced. This can help reduce further gum recession, cover exposed roots and give your teeth a more pleasing appearance.
- Bone grafting. This procedure is performed when gum disease has destroyed the bone surrounding your tooth root. The bone graft helps prevent tooth loss by holding your tooth in place. It also serves as a platform for the regrowth of natural bone.
Conclusion what is periodontal treatment
Finally, it is important to know a good oral care routine can avoid periodontal disease entirely. With 30% of British people being at higher risk because they don’t brush twice, floss and rinse with mouthwash daily. Team this with regular appointments for a professional clean. There are some simple things we can do to help fix the number of cases yearly.
However, contact us if you believe you are suffering from gum disease. If left untreated the wider problems caused can be severe.