Periodontal care is a preventive procedure performed to protect against periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases are common mouth infections that damage the soft and hard tissues supporting teeth. If allowed to progress, these diseases erode the alveolar bone causing the tooth to become loose or even fall out.
Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease
At Reich Dental Center – Roswell, our doctors can diagnose periodontal disease during a periodontal examination. During this, a periodontal probe is used to gently measure the pockets between your tooth and the gum. If the pockets are three millimeters or less, it indicates your gums are healthy. If the pockets are deeper than three millimeters, it may indicate periodontal disease.
We will check the depth of your pockets, inflammation, amount of bleeding and tooth mobility to see to what extent the gum disease has progressed and make an accurate diagnosis.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease happens in subsequent stages:
|Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Infection-causing plaque makes the gums inflamed and prone to bleeding. Any damage during this phase is reversible.
|Periodontitis: If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. During this stage, gum pockets become larger, bleed profusely during brushing, and become swollen. This may result in slight to moderate bone loss. However, if advanced periodontitis is allowed to set in, more and more soft tissue and tooth structure is lost. The damage to the bone and soft tissue of often irreversible and can lead to tooth loss.
With some simple care, periodontal disease can be stopped in its tracks:
|Proper Oral Hygiene: Although most of us take care to brush and floss our teeth, sometimes only oral care at home is not enough. That’s why we recommend a basic dental cleaning appointment every six months at Reich Dental Center – Roswell. During this, we will gently scale off the worst of the plaque from your teeth and may give you a fluoride treatment so that your teeth remain protected from bacteria for longer.
|Scaling and Root Planing: In case we see a buildup of bacteria and deep gum pockets, we recommend a scaling and root planing procedure. During the procedure, we will clean out bacteria and plaque from your gum pockets and below your gum line. We will then smooth out your tooth roots so that bacteria may not find purchase on them again. This will allow the gums to heal and shrink back tightly around the tooth.
|Medication: Periodontal care is also performed with a number of antibacterial mouth rinses, gels, and oral tablets. Antimicrobial mouthwash including chlorhexidine may be given to control bacteria after treatment. Antiseptic chlorhexidine gel packets may also be placed inside the gum pockets, which release the medication slowly over time. Oral tablets may also be taken during a short time to treat persistent infection.
|Surgery: If good oral hygiene and non-surgical periodontal care do not work, we may have to resort to surgery. We may recommend flap surgery that would involve pulling back the gums to remove tartar from the tooth root and then suturing back into place tightly. Bone and soft tissue graft may also be needed if the disease destroys a significant amount of gums, ligaments, and surrounding bone structure. Some other surgical options may also be considered.
Schedule an Appointment
The success of a periodontal care procedure depends on how well you adhere to good oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, like no smoking. Periodontal disease is chronic and extremely damaging to your oral as well as overall health. If you suspect you have gum disease, call us at 770-992-3353 to schedule an appointment.
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