Periodontal Disease Treatment
For the Dental Patient
Tartar removal and root planing. Periodontal diseases (also known as gum disease or pyorrhea) are infections of the gums and the bone that support the teeth. They are often painless, and you may not realize you have a problem until your gums and supporting bone are severely damaged. The important thing is that periodontal diseases can be treated in the early stages with scaling (removal of tartar) and root planing or in advanced cases it requires periodontal surgery. During a checkup, the dentist checks to see if your gums have periodontal problems. An instrument called a periodontal probe is used to gently measure the depth of the space between the teeth and the gums.
At the edge of the gum line, healthy gum tissue forms a shallow V-shaped groove (called a sulcus) between the tooth and the gums Normal sulcus depth should be 3 millimeters or less. In periodontal diseases, the groove deepens and accumulates more plaque bacteria and is difficult to keep clean. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, your dentist can treat you, or may refer you to a periodontist, the dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease. Treatment often depends on how advanced the condition is and how your body responds to therapy.
Prevention and Treatment
Prevention includes a good daily oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth once a day with dental floss or another interdental cleanser helps prevent plaque formation. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important. Root scaling and planing is a method to treat periodontal disease when the pockets are greater than 3mm.
Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. A local anesthetic may be administered to reduce discomfort. Using a small scaling instrument or ultrasonic cleaner, the dentist or hygienist carefully removes plaque and tartar from the bottom of each periodontal pocket. Then, the root surfaces of the tooth are smoothed or smoothed. This allows the gum tissue to heal. It also makes it more difficult for plaque to build up on root surfaces.
Your dentist may recommend, prescribe, and administer medications to help control infection and pain or to promote healing. During a follow-up appointment, the dentist checks how the gums have healed and how the periodontal pockets have diminished. When pockets larger than 3 mm persist after treatment, additional measures may be needed. You will be given instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums while they heal. Maintaining good oral hygiene and ongoing, sometimes lifelong, dental care are essential to help prevent periodontal disease from worsening or recurring.