PERIODONTAL DISEASE

What is periodontal disease? 

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.

You may have heard periodontal disease referred to simply as gum disease or maybe periodontitis. Each term means the same thing, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure. 

While you can use daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent periodontal disease, you may find that any issues are too far along, especially because of any of the following: 

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

These factors can severely impact your oral health, and they could lead to periodontal disease. If this is the case, you will need to seek treatment to ensure excellent oral health and prevent any complications that might arise from gum disease. 

What are the treatments for periodontal disease? 

There are two categories of treatment for periodontal disease. These are Non-Surgical and Surgical. The type of treatment you receive will usually depend on the severity of your periodontal issues. Non-surgical treatments are used in mild cases of periodontal disease, whereas advanced cases require Surgical treatment. 

Non-surgical treatments 

Scaling 

Scaling is one of the most straightforward periodontal treatments. It involves removing bacteria and tartar from the surface of your tooth and around the gums. There are many ways to do this, whether through handheld instruments, lasers, or an ultrasonic machine. 

Root planning

The root planning treatment smooths the root’s surface. This prevents tartar or bacteria buildup to prevent possible infections and disease. In turn, root planing encourages tooth recovery and prevents inflammation to ensure comfort. 

Antibiotics 

As periodontal disease is often caused by bacteria, antibiotics are a fantastic way of fighting the issue and ensuring healthy teeth and gums. Like scaling, there are multiple ways to administer these antibiotics, including oral tablets or topical approaches, such as antibacterial mouthwash. Often, topical antibiotics are enough, but you may need oral antibiotics just to be sure the infection is removed. 

Surgical treatments

Flap/Pocket reduction 

Small incisions are made in the gums to expose more of the root surface. This procedure makes it easier to scale and clean the gums and teeth, which helps you take better care of your teeth once the healing process is complete. 

Grafting 

There are two types of grafting you may encounter with surgical treatments. One approach is a soft tissue graft which replaces and reinforces lost gum tissue and will cover exposed roots. The second approach is a bone graft which helps prevent losing a tooth affected by extreme periodontitis.  

Guided tissue regeneration

A biocompatible material is placed between the bone and the tooth, which prevents bacteria or unwanted matter (such as bits of food) from entering the area. As the entrance to the healing area is blocked, the bone can grow back without interference. 

Tissue proteins 

Special gels can encourage proteins to grow around damaged or diseased teeth. These proteins are also found in tooth enamel and promote healthy gums to avoid further complications from periodontal disease. 

Get in touch today 

If you live in San Francisco, California, and have any questions regarding periodontal disease treatments or want to learn more about the services we offer, get in touch with Yerba Buena Dentistry today at (415) 872-9020 to find out more and book a consultation.