Gum disease treatment works best when the disease is caught in the early stages. Early treatment will help avoid Periodontal surgery in the future.
Make sure you know the warning signs of gum disease. You want to avoid tooth loss and gum problems related to advancing Periodontal Disease.
You should begin a treatment plan right away if your dentist confirms that you have gum disease.
Decide to Manage your Gum Disease
Like diabetes, gum disease can be managed, but not cured.
Your dental hygienist will set up a plan to halt the progression of gum disease. She will then give you a maintenance plan to maintain healthy gums.
Visit your hygienist right away if you have early warning signs of Periodontal Disease.
Scaling and Root Planing
Your hygienist will schedule Scaling and Root Planing after diagnosing gum disease. This is also called non-surgical Periodontal Therapy.
Dental hygienists are trained and licensed to work on the area underneath the gums. It is impossible to remove calculus buildup yourself. The calculus is often not visible without xrays; however, it is still damaging your bone structure. This buildup must be removed by a dental professional.
Here are the steps your hygienist will use to treat gum disease with scaling and root planing:
- Remove all dental plaque and calculus. This is especially important for calculus “hidden” beneath the gum line.
- Smooth or “plane” the tooth and root surfaces below the gum line.
- Confirm that all root surfaces are smooth and free of calculus. This smooth surface will prevent future buildup.
- Use a digital X-ray to confirm that all calculus is gone. X-ray is required for this step because the dangerous calculus is hidden beneath the gums.
This process will make the gums tighter around the teeth. It will prevent deep pockets that hold bacteria and cause erosion of the gums.
These bitewings show the dangerous buildup of calculus before and after the hygienist does scaling and root planing.
After your scaling and root planing appointments you must see your dental hygienist on a three month interval for one year. Bacteria that causes gum disease recolonizes ever 90 days.
At each visit she will measure your bone levels and chart any areas of bleeding. Remember: healthy gums do not bleed. A healthy patient has measurements 3 mm and below with no bleeding.
Once your dental hygienist confirms that you have improvement on probing depths and bleeding points, she will begin to extend your recall interval.
Your hygienist will give you a home maintenance plan:
- Use Sonicare electric toothbrush. The vibrations flush out around the pockets of the teeth. The two minute timer will help make sure that you brush for an adequate time period.
- Use Water Pic to flush out gum pockets. This will remove bacteria that toothbrush and floss cannot reach.
- Floss daily. Flossing removes food particles before they reach gum pockets.
Perio maintenance is a big part of what we do at Cranford Dental. Helping patients understand Periodontal Disease and how to keep their teeth is very rewarding to me. I don’t want patients of any age to lose their teeth due to Periodontal Disease. Nan Katherine Gallis, RDH
Do not Settle
At Cranford Dental we know that losing teeth does not go with old age. There is a solution to bleeding and eroding gums.
Our goal is to make sure that our patients keep healthy teeth for a lifetime.
We want patients to know that Periodontal Disease is very serious; however, we can always help manage it with proper treatment.
You never have to settle for losing your teeth.
Nan Katherine Gallis, RDH wrote this blog post. Contact Cranford Dental if you have questions for Nan Katherine or would like to schedule an appointment for her to evaluate your teeth and gums. Thanks for the good job on this post, Nan Katherine – and for the great job you do fighting gum disease at our office.