Periodontal therapy refers to the treatment of periodontal disease, which is a bacterial infection that affects the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, ligaments, and bones. This therapy is designed to remove the bacteria and other toxins that cause the disease, as well as to promote tissue healing and regeneration.
Gingivitis can also be treated with periodontal treatment. Gingivitis is different from periodontitis (Gum disease), as it’ only an inflammation of the gums. However, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease if left untreated.
Causes of Periodontitis.
In most cases, the development of periodontitis starts with plaque. Plaque is a sticky film mainly made up of bacteria. If not removed, plaque can advance over time to periodontitis.
Symptoms of periodontitis that may require periodontal therapy can include;
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Painful chewing
- Gums that pull away from your teeth, making your teeth look longer than usual, called receding gums.
- New spaces that develop between your teeth that look like black triangles
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Gums that look bright red
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
A thorough oral examination is often the first step in treating periodontitis. A periodontal examination helps your dentist determine if there’s any loss of gum attachment. If there is, your dentist will use a tool to measure the size or degree of the lost gum.
At Zoe Dental Centre your dentist will use an intraoral scan to show you the inside of your mouth. This can help you see for yourself the state of your teeth and gums. Your dentist can also use this as an opportunity to point out areas of improvement.
What does the treatment procedure involve?
All periodontal therapies begin with a professional dental cleaning. This is the same kind of cleaning that your dentist gives you during your routine dental visits. This helps to get rid of the first layer of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) on the teeth. After this comes the specialized treatments for active periodontal disease.
Treatment options may include deep cleaning techniques such as scaling, root planning, and medications.
Plaque and tartar can build up on the surfaces of the teeth and below the gum line. This accumulation occurs as the bums recede (move away) from the teeth.
Scaling, also known as “deep cleaning”, is performed to eliminate these hidden build-ups. Your dentist at Zoe Dental uses hand tools to remove and ultrasonic scalers to remove plaque and tartar.
What is the purpose of scaling?
- To remove any plaque or calculus from areas where a toothbrush cannot reach
- To prevent gum disease
- To prevent pocket formation (pockets form when continuous plaque buildup causes the gums to recede). The deeper the pocket becomes the more worsening the gum disease develops.
Root planning is the process of smoothening the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. By smoothening the rough surfaces, your dentist can get rid of bacteria hiding in these crevices. In addition, this ensures that the gums have a clean surface to reattach to.
With the combination of scaling and root planning, the gums can begin their recovery.
In many cases, your dentists may use medications like antibiotic gels as part of the therapy. These meds help reduce bacterial growth in the mouth. They can also help ease the swollen gums, which in turn shrink periodontal pockets.
The goals of periodontal therapy are to prevent tooth loss, improve overall oral health, and prevent further damage to the gums and bone surrounding the teeth.
Moreover, early gum disease detection and treatment can keep prevent chronic inflammation.
Ready to make to your gums healthy, pink, and inflammation-free? Then know that our qualified dental staff is here to assist you. If you have any inquiries about periodontal therapy, don’t hesitate to contact us!