Periodontal disease is a condition that starts as the result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. It is more commonly known as gum disease. While a devastating oral health condition, it is barely noticeable when it first begins. When it first strikes, periodontal disease exhibits as red, swollen gums. As the condition continues to develop, the swollen tissue pulls away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. These pockets trap bacteria and other debris, allowing the disease to worsen. Eventually, your gums recede, your teeth become loose, and you may even suffer tooth loss. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD can help to stop the progression of periodontal disease, preventing more serious consequences, with periodontal therapy.
What is Periodontal Therapy?
Periodontal therapy is a treatment for periodontal disease that involves a common treatment called scaling and root planing. With scaling and root planing, we deep clean all surfaces of your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Scaling is the cleaning of the visible surfaces of your teeth. We give special attention to, and just below, the gum line. We work carefully to remove all of the accumulation from your teeth, including plaque, bacteria, and other debris. We are even able to remove the most stubborn tartar or calcified plaque that cannot be removed no matter how much you brush.
Root planing involves cleaning the root surfaces of your teeth. We use specialized tools to smooth these surfaces, eliminating plaque, bacteria, and other toxins. With smooth surfaces, it becomes more difficult for new accumulation to form. After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, an antibacterial rinse is administered to help kill any lingering bacteria. We then schedule a follow up for 6 to 8 weeks later.
At your follow up an appointment, we check to make sure that your gums have begun to heal. In many cases, scaling and root planing provides the desired results. In some cases, however, a single treatment is not enough. In this case, you may be recommended for periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a series of treatments that are spread out based upon your specific needs. During these appointments, we assess your teeth, checking for buildup, and examine your gums.
Your periodontal pockets are measured, and x-rays are taken. This is done to ensure that healing is occurring. After examining your mouth, we then clean your teeth. Depending upon your specific situation, you may require visits as frequently as every two months, while other patients may only require periodontal maintenance visits every six months.
Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal therapy can be an incredibly effective treatment for restoring your oral health following periodontal disease. However, without proper care, periodontal disease can develop again. It is essential that you take steps to prevent this. A good oral hygiene routine is imperative. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition to these daily care habits, it is also necessary to have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year.
With periodontal therapy, we can help to halt the progression of periodontal disease, allowing your gums and your mouth to heal. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD at (541) 389-0261 today.