Many times, the early stages of periodontal disease are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy.
Even in severe cases, non-surgical periodontal therapy often precedes surgical therapy. This is done to improve the overall tissue quality prior to surgery and also to help limit the areas requiring surgery.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE TREATMENT IN VANCOUVER, WA
The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!
Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, but research also suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affect these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease. Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
Bleeding gums: Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
Loose teeth: Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
New spacing between teeth: Caused by bone loss.
Persistent bad breath: Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Pus around the teeth and gums: Sign that there is an infection present.
Receding gums: Loss of gum around a tooth.
Red and puffy gums: Gums should never be red or swollen.
Tenderness or Discomfort: Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
NON-SURGICAL AND SURGICAL GUM DISEASE TREATMENTS
Though the effects of gum disease sound (and are!) quite scary, fortunately, modern dentistry provides us with many treatment options that can halt progression and even reverse the disease entirely! Gingivitis is typically easily reversed with a professional regular dental cleaning and good daily oral hygiene (brushing and flossing), but more advanced stages of gum disease require professional dental treatment. There are several surgical and non-surgical options that your dentist can recommend according to your specific case.
Scaling and Root Planning is typically the first step to treating periodontitis. It is a non-surgical process, known colloquially as a dental “deep cleaning.” Scaling removes plaque, tartar and bacterial toxins on your teeth both above and below the gum line. Root planing smooths the tooth-root surfaces, making it more difficult for bacteria to adhere and easier for the gums to reattach to the teeth and heal. After a few weeks, our dentists will evaluate how well your gums have healed and determined whether or not further treatment is necessary. In most periodontitis cases, scaling and root planing coupled with continuous good oral hygiene reverses the disease entirely!
Surgical Treatments are necessary when scaling and root planing alone is not sufficient in healing this disease, usually in cases of advanced periodontitis. When scaling and root planing is done first, the amount of surgery required usually decreases. Surgical options can include: pocket reduction or flap surgery, gum or bone grafts, and regenerative therapy.
If you are living with the symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait. Call Vancouver Pacific Family Dentistry today. Our team performs scaling and root planning to treat gum disease and bone grafting to restore lost bone tissue. We also offer dental crown lengthening to recontour the gum line and trim away excess tissue for a more even, natural-looking smile.