Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is more commonly known, is one of the most common oral health conditions. When it is addressed early, treatment is relatively simple, but once the disease progresses, treatment becomes more complex and invasive.
What’s the best treatment for periodontal disease? It depends on the situation. Here’s what you need to know about gum disease and how it is treated.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the technical term for gum disease, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. Symptoms of minor periodontal disease include swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Advanced periodontal disease can cause damage to the gums and the jaw that may eventually lead to loose or lost teeth.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film made of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth. When plaque is not removed from the teeth it hardens into calculus. By the time calculus forms, the bacteria have reached a certain level of maturity that leads to an infection of the gum tissue.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for gum disease. The method of treatment that is applied will depend on the situation and the severity of the infection. Possible treatments include:
- Periodontal maintenance. The first step in treating gum disease is removing the plaque and calculus that are the source of the infection. Periodontal maintenance includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth, both above and below the gumline. This process will be repeated periodically to keep gum disease from coming back.
- Non surgical. Non surgical treatment for gum disease involves the use of lasers to regenerate the tissues that have been lost due to gum disease. It helps restore the gum tissue, ligaments, and jaw bone to support the teeth.
- Surgical. Surgical treatment for periodontal disease includes procedures that require cutting into the tissues of the mouth to repair and regenerate lost support structures. Surgical procedures may include bone grafting, gum grafting, and crown lengthening.
What’s the Best Treatment?
There is not one single best treatment for periodontal disease. It needs to be treated according to the specific needs of each individual patient. Some patients may only need periodontal maintenance. Others may need non surgical or surgical procedures to repair the damaged tissue from untreated, progressed periodontal disease. Treatment can even include dental implants to replace teeth that were lost due to advanced periodontal disease.
Prevention is Best
The ideal situation would be to prevent gum disease in the first place. By brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, most of the plaque that forms on your teeth will be removed. When plaque is removed daily, it doesn’t have time to harden into calculus and is less likely to infect the gum tissue.
Having your teeth professionally cleaned at your dentist’s office every 6 months is another important part of preventing gum disease. Dental cleanings remove any plaque or calculus that forms in places that are missed when you brush and floss. It also allows your dentist to detect gum disease in the early stages and treat it before it results in damage that will require more complex procedures to correct.
Kopman Periodontics & Dental Implant Solutions Treats Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, although common, is relatively easy to treat and prevent. If you have mild or severe symptoms of gum disease, Kopman Periodontics & Dental Implant Solutions provides a wide range of treatment options.