A guide to periodontal treatment in Glendale, CA
Did you know that approximately half of adults over 30 years old have some type of periodontal disease? That number gets even higher, the older you get. This common condition can wreak havoc on the mouth if left untreated, which is why it’s important to seek care at the first signs and symptoms. If you are in the Glendale, CA area, the team at Bright Smiles Dental Studio has extensive experience diagnosing and treating gum disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Gum disease begins with an excess buildup of plaque on the teeth and along the gumline. As more plaque accumulates the gums begin to get red, swell and bleed. This stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and is easily reversed with prompt care and treatment. When left untreated, gingivitis will continue to worsen and become periodontitis. At this point, the gums begin to separate from the teeth, and teeth shift out of place, allowing bacteria to infect the area. Periodontitis can lead to permanent tooth loss and the need for advanced restorations.
Treatment for periodontal disease
Treating gum disease depends on several factors, including:
- Personal health history
- Stage of gum disease
- Oral health
The main types of treatment for periodontal disease include professional cleaning, deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), and periodontal surgery.
The very early stages of gingivitis are easy to treat with a professional cleaning at your dentist’s office. This cleaning can remove the plaque build-up and leave your teeth and gums clean. Your dental team can also make recommendations on how to prevent the gingivitis from occurring again.
Deep Cleaning (Scaling and root planing)
Once the gum disease has advanced past gingivitis, your dental team may have to provide a specialized deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, this treatment may need to be completed in more than one appointment.
Scaling – This part of the process involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth down into the periodontal pockets that have appeared as the gums pull away from the teeth.
Root Planing – This part of the process involves planing (smoothing) out the surfaces of the tooth root so that the area can heal, and the gums can reattach to the teeth.
Patients who undergo scaling and root planing may also require medications such as antibiotics for infection or pain medications to alleviate discomfort. Medications may be in pill, mouth wash, or topical form.
If the gum does not reattach to the teeth following a scaling or root planing, or if the gum disease is too far advanced, surgery may be needed.
During periodontal surgery, the dentist is able to access hard to reach areas to thoroughly remove any plaque and tartar causing infection. The gum is stitched back into place snugly around the teeth.
Periodontal surgery can be extremely effective at reducing the size of pockets to restore oral health.
Keeping your mouth healthy following periodontal treatment
After undergoing any type of treatment for gum disease, it is important to maintain regular dental care to keep the condition from reoccurring. Most patients will require more frequent dental cleanings known as periodontal maintenance. These maintenance cleanings are more intensive than standard professional cleaning. These treatments will lower the amount of plaque bacteria in the mouth, which in turn will reduce inflammation and allow the pockets to shrink as the gums heal.
Regular periodontal maintenance will help keep the teeth and gums healthy for long term oral health.
It’s important to note that gum disease does not heal itself. Once an individual has received treatment for gum disease, the condition can return. Receiving regular dental care including twice-yearly visits and cleaning can reduce the risk of the condition coming back or worsening.
It’s also very important to maintain good oral care at home. That includes brushing at least twice each day for two minutes at a time, flossing between the teeth every day, and using recommended mouth rinses.