Periodontitis is a disease affecting the area around a tooth, which includes both the bone and gum. It is also known as gum disease and occurs when there is excessive build-up of bacteria and plaque around the tooth. While plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease, other factors like poor dental hygiene habits, smoking, certain medications and illnesses like cancer and HIV can increase risk of the disease.
Gum disease is a serious infection which when left untreated can lead to tooth loss as it damages the soft tissue around the tooth and destroys the supporting bone. However, with its symptoms being so subtle even at an advanced stage, the best way to catch it in good time is to maintain regular dental check-ups. For most people the symptoms remain painless, which lessens the need to seek medical care. The signs however still remain obvious and may include bleeding gums, red or tender gums, receding gums and shifting of teeth that creates changes in bite.
Periodontal disease treatment at Tamborello Dentistry often begins with a dental exam. This is to help the dentist make a definite diagnosis of whether you are actually suffering from the disease. The exam will involve physically checking for any of the symptoms mentioned above. A test to determine the movement of your teeth and sensitivity levels may also be done. If there is any indication of gum disease, a final check of the jawbone will help determine if any bone surrounding your teeth has been affected.
This phase of treatment uses a conservative approach, where the objective is to control the infection and restore the healthy bacteria found in the mouth. it is at this point that the dentist will also try to establish the cause of your periodontal disease to ensure it does not happen again.
The interventions used are often non-invasive such as scaling and root planing. You will be sedated for this procedure to ensure it is comfortable and painless. Your dentist or hygienist may perform the procedures which basically involve a thorough cleaning on your teeth to get rid of plaque and calculus. After the deep cleaning, an antimicrobial solution will be applied to sanitize the area.
At this stage you will also be advised on how to properly care for your teeth at home as well as your overall health. Good dental hygiene is necessary and may also have to quit some bad habits like smoking.
It takes between 4 to 8 weeks to heal from scaling and root planning. After complete healing a dentist will assess your situation and determine if the treatment was a success or if there is need for an advanced approach.