Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a gum infection that typically results from poor oral hygiene. If not treated immediately, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and jaw bone deterioration. Luckily, there are several treatment options for gum disease (both surgical and non-surgical).
Below are some top tips you can use to get the best treatment and aftercare for gum disease.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
The first step to getting the best treatment for gum disease is an appointment with your dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will carry out a full evaluation of your oral health. This will help them determine how far your gum disease has progressed and what treatment would be best for you. For further clarification, speak to Sherwood Park Dental Practice.
Periodontal Treatment Options
The treatments for gum disease can be surgical (invasive) and non-surgical, depending on the severity of the case. Some of the non-surgical treatments available include;
Dental Prophylaxis- This is a simple routine dental cleaning carried out to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. The procedure can be done twice a year by a dental hygienist.
Deep Dental Cleaning- During this procedure, plaque and tartar are removed from above and below the gum line. If your gum disease hasn’t progressed, this procedure, in combination with improved oral hygiene, can be a good way to ensure that it doesn’t advance further.
Scaling and Root Planing- This is another type of deep cleaning procedure where all tartar and plaque are scraped away before the teeth roots are smoothed to remove bacteria. Once complete, root planing leaves a clean surface for the gums to attach to the teeth. Although scaling and root planing are non-surgical, you will be given a local anaesthetic to help with any pain or sensitivity during the procedure.
Laser Periodontal Therapy- This procedure involves the use of a tiny laser to kill bacteria and remove diseased tissue from under your gums. Laser therapy is usually recommended as an alternative to traditional gum surgery. It, however, doesn’t require any incisions or sutures like traditional gum surgery.
Antibiotic Therapy -Antibiotics can also be used to treat gum disease either as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with any of the other gum disease treatments. Chlorhexidine is one of the common antibiotics normally used for treating gum disease.
Surgical gum disease treatments include;
Pocket Reduction Surgery (Flap Surgery)- In this procedure, your periodontist exposes your teeth roots by creating incisions along your gum line. The exposed roots will then show them any tartar that needs to be cleaned up. After cleaning up the tartar and the surface of your teeth roots, they may reshape and smooth out areas of damaged bone, so bacteria won’t be able to hide or grow inside them. Once this is done, they will reposition and suture your gums back in place.
Bone Grafting- This procedure uses bone (your own bone, synthetic bone or donated bone) to rebuild the areas that have been damaged by gum disease. The graft essentially acts as a scaffolding that holds space until your body is able to regenerate new bone. Bone grafting is usually performed in combination with flap surgery.
Guided Tissue Regeneration- Gum disease can cause gaps (pockets) to form between your tooth root and bone. Guided tissue regeneration involves placing a membrane in this damaged area to deter your gum tissue from growing where the bone should be. This way, your body has enough time to regenerate new bone around your tooth.
Gum Disease Treatment Aftercare
Gum disease treatments are highly successful (up to 95% success rate in some cases), and they can offer you a long-term solution if you properly care for your teeth and gums following treatment.
Depending on the type of gum disease treatment you get, recovery time can range from 1-4 weeks (flap surgery, bone grafts) to no downtime at all (scaling and root planing).
Gum disease treatment aftercare may vary depending on the type of treatment you get. However, there are some general aftercare tips you can follow to keep your teeth and gums in good condition. They include;
- Taking your medications exactly as prescribed by your dentist or periodontist.
- Calling your periodontist if you experience concerning side effects like pain and bleeding that won’t go away.
- Keeping the treatment area clean. Your periodontist will advise you on how to go about this based on your specific treatment.
Long-term Oral Hygiene
Gum disease treatments can be very effective, but they only last when you maintain good oral hygiene. If you do not want a reoccurrence, you must ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing is also important as it prevents plaque, tartar and bacteria from building up between your teeth. Make sure to also use antibacterial mouthwash and see your dental hygienist for regular dental cleanings.
Gum disease treatments involve several surgical and non-surgical procedures that can effectively combat gingivitis and periodontitis. Bear in mind that there is no cure for gum disease, but the condition can be managed with these treatments. You will also have to make a conscious effort to maintain proper oral hygiene at home.