Advanced Periodontal Care
Periodontal diseases are the result of inflammation and infection of the gums and mouth bone that support the teeth. These diseases are primarily seen in adults and can range from mild to severe.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and it is the mildest form of the disease. Patients often recognize the symptoms of gingivitis when they brush their teeth or floss, which causes their sensitive, inflamed gums to bleed.
Read More: Is It Normal for My Gums to Bleed After Brushing?
The gums become irritated because of plaque that accumulates between the teeth and gums. This stage is usually treated easily with an in-office deep cleaning, also called root planing and scaling. Dr. Moore may also recommend Peridex™ mouthwash to discourage the buildup of plaque. When gingivitis is left untreated, the problem progresses into periodontitis, which requires more serious professional care
When left untreated, gum disease may lead to permanent damage to the gums, jaw bone, and teeth. In this stage, plaque and its hardened form, tartar, cause the recession of gum tissue and bone. This creates deep pockets in which more bacteria develop between the teeth and gums. Eventually, this bacteria reduces the support structure of the teeth, causing them to loosen and, in severe cases, fall out.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
For periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, patients may benefit from root planing and scaling and Peridex™ mouthwash, but some may require further treatment.
Root planing is a specific treatment that removes cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted toxins and tartar. Your dentist will literally smooth the root of your tooth to promote good healing. By having a smooth root, you can stop bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.
Periodontal scaling is usually performed with specific dental instruments and may use an ultrasonic scaling tool. This tool removes calculus and plaque from the surface of the crown and root. In some cases, the scaling tool may include an irrigation process that delivers an antimicrobial agent below the gums in order to reduce oral bacteria.
Dr. Moore may prescribe ARESTIN® Microspheres, an antibiotic medication that is placed in the pockets. ARESTIN® helps kill the bacteria and stop their destruction of the gums, teeth, and bone tissues.
Deep Cleaning vs Routine Cleaning
You may believe that going to the dentist consistently every six months will prevent gum disease, but that is not always the case. There is a difference between routine cleaning and deep cleaning to prevent further periodontal disease.
Routine cleaning is your bi-annual visit to the dentist and is recommended for those with no history of or potential for gum disease. This cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup on, around, and between your teeth. There may be some cleaning under the gum line, but only for those who need it.
A deep cleaning becomes necessary when bacteria have spread further than the gum line. This can create a deep space between the teeth and the gums called pockets. If you or your dentist notice pockets developing, this is a sign of gum disease and steps should be taken to eliminate them as quickly as possible. During a deep cleaning, your dentist or periodontist will perform root planing and periodontal scaling to clean your teeth deeper than the gum line.
In addition to damaging the teeth, periodontal disease is accompanied by dangerous pathogens that can have adverse effects on a patient's overall health. If you have noticed any of the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, it is of paramount importance that you see Dr. Moore as soon as possible. If periodontitis has advanced to a stage requiring surgical treatment, Dr. Moore can help refer you to a specialized periodontist.
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