If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages (periodontitis), there are several ways to treat the disease, depending on its severity. The goal of periodontal treatment is to thoroughly clean the pockets of bacteria and to prevent more damage. Treatment is most successful when you adopt a daily routine of good oral care.
Non Surgical Treatment
If your Periodontal Disease is not advanced, treatment can include less invasive procedures, including:
Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums. It may be performed using instruments or an ultrasonic device.
- Root Planning
Root planning smoothest the root surfaces, discouraging further buildup of tartar.
Use of topical or oral antibiotics can help control bacterial infection. Topical antibiotics are generally the antibiotic of choice. They can include antibiotic mouth rinses or insertion of threads and gels containing antibiotics into the space between your teeth and gums or into pockets after deep cleaning. Oral antibiotics are used less often because they may lead to antibiotic resistance and the creation of so-called super bugs. However, oral antibiotics may be necessary to completely eliminate infection-causing bacteria.
If you consistently practice good oral hygiene at home, these may be the only treatment methods you need to bring your Periodontal Disease under control.
If you have advanced Periodontal Disease your gum tissue may not respond to non surgical treatments. In that case, your condition may require dental surgery, such as:
- Flap Surgery
(Pocket Reduction Surgery) In this procedure, tiny incisions in your gums are made so that a section of gum tissue can be lifted back, exposing the roots for more effective scaling and planning. Since gum disease often causes bone loss, the underlying bone may be re contoured before the gum tissue is sutured back in place. The procedure generally takes from one to three hours and is performed under local anesthesia.
- Soft Tissue Grafts
When you lose gum tissue to periodontal disease, your gum line recedes, making your teeth appear longer than normal. You may need to have damaged tissue replaced. This is usually done by removing a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth (palate) and attaching it to the affected site. This procedure can help reduce further gum recession, cover exposed roots and give your teeth a more cosmetically pleasing appearance.
- Bone Grafting
This procedure is performed when periodontal disease has destroyed the bone surrounding your tooth root. The graft may be composed of small fragments of your own bone or the bone may be synthetic or donated. The bone graft helps prevent tooth loss by holding your tooth in place. It also serves as a platform for the re-growth of natural bone. Bone grafting may be performed during a technique called guided tissue regeneration.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration
This allows the re-growth of bone that was destroyed by bacteria. In one approach, Dr. Alvarez places a special piece of bio compatible fabric between existing bone and your tooth. The material prevents unwanted tissue from entering the healing area, allowing bone to grow back instead. Another technique involves the application to a diseased tooth root of a gel that contains the same proteins found in tooth enamel. This stimulates the growth of healthy bone and tissue.