Periodontal Treatment in Magnolia, TX
In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, affects nearly half of Americans over the age of 30. Obviously, this problem is very common. Often, tooth loss is the unfortunate final result for patients who don’t properly care for their teeth and gums. However, even if patients have an unhealthy gum line, that shouldn’t mean they will lose their teeth, because there are lots of successful treatments for periodontitis.
Gingivitis to Periodontitis
Gum disease is a furtive and increasingly prevalent disease. Red, bloating, and bleeding gums are the revealing signs of this infection. In the early stage, known as gingivitis, it develops when bacterial plaque is not completely removed from the patient’s teeth. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) ensures this circumstance is easily correctable if the patient brushes and flossing their teeth daily.
However, when teeth stop being treated, the gingivitis can evolve into a more severe dental condition called periodontitis. The toxins from this bacterial plaque can harm the gum tissue and the bone and ligaments that support the patient’s teeth. The infection spreads the disease to the bone and supporting tissues. Eventually, the teeth become weakened and need to be treated surgically.
Dentists recommend patients avoid the advance of the periodontal disease. To determine whether patients have periodontitis and how severe it is, the dentist will:
- Analyze the patient medical history to recognize any factors that could be leading to the symptoms, such as smoking or taking certain medications that induce dry mouth.
- Explore the mouth to observe if the patient has plaque-tartar deposits, and check for any easy bleeding signs.
- Determine the pocket depth of the dental channel between the gums and teeth. The dentist or hygienist will place a dental probe close to the tooth beneath the gum line.
- Take dental X-rays to examine if there are any signs of bone loss in areas where the dentist discovered deep pocket depths.
Types of Periodontal Treatment
A periodontist, a dentist or a dental hygienist may perform treatments. The objective of periodontitis treatment is to exhaustively clean the pockets around the teeth and prevent damage to the surrounding bones. Patients have the best chance for successful treatment if they follow a daily routine of proper oral care and stop smoking.
If periodontitis is in the early stage, treatment could involve less invasive procedures, including:
This is the removal of tartar and bacteria from the tooth surfaces and beneath the gums. Scaling can be done using a laser or an ultrasonic device.
- Root Planing
This is a deep, below the gum-line cleaning. It will remove deposits of tartar and bacteria, and eradicate the bacterial byproducts that cause inflammation and slow the healing or rebinding of the gum to the tooth surfaces.
Topical or oral antibiotics can help to neutralize bacterial infection. The topical antibiotics can contain antibacterial mouth rinses or gels; they can get into the spaces between the teeth and gums or into the pockets after a deep cleaning. However, oral antibiotics might be required to successfully eliminate any infections.
If the patient has advanced periodontitis, treatment may require dental surgery, such as:
- Flap Surgery
(pocket reduction surgery). The periodontist makes little incisions into a section of the gum to reach and lift back the tissues; this reveals the inner roots for more effective dental procedures, such as scaling and a root planing.
- Tissue-Stimulating Proteins
This involves applying a special gel to a diseased tooth root. This gel has the same proteins found in developing tooth enamel and induces healthy new growth of bone and tissue.
- Bone Grafting
This dental procedure is warranted when periodontitis has pulverized the bone surrounding the patient’s tooth root. The graft could be a compound of small fragments of their own bone, or the bone could be synthetic or donated. The bone graft helps to avoid tooth loss by holding the tooth in place. It also serves as a foundation for natural bone regrowth.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration
This allows the regrowth of bone that was pulverized by bacteria. During the first appointment, the dentist must place a special piece of biocompatible fabric between the existing bone and the patient’s tooth. The material avoids unwanted tissue from entering the healing area, allowing for bone regrowth instead.
- Soft Tissue Grafts
When patients are missing gum tissue, the gum-line draws back. The patient might require some reinforcement of the damaged soft tissues. In general, this procedure is done by extracting a small amount of tissue from the upper part of the mouth (palate) or another donor source and rebinding it into the affected site in the patient’s mouth. This can help minimize further gum recession, cover exposed roots, and give the teeth a more pleasing appearance.
The patient must know meticulous daily homecare is the key to avoid this disease. As personal oral care is a big part of any periodontal treatment plan, the dentist or hygienist must spend considerable time with the patient making sure they understand and implement proper brushing and flossing habits at home. He or she could recommend products like Colgate® PerioGard®, a prescription-strength anti-microbial rinse to help eradicate deposits of bacteria. Since smoking inhibits the healing process, the dentist will recommend following periodontal health with additional checkups and cleaning appointments. When patients are in treatment for periodontal disease, they certainly must know: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”