What are some of the treatments that my dentist or periodontist might recommend for periodontal disease?
There are different types of periodontal diseases. Some of which are very minor, such as gingivitis. Which all it means is just an inflamed gum. Others involve break down of the bone support and a little bit more advanced from potential loss of the tooth. The treatment therapy is usually started off as being simple. Keep it simple and then proceed from there. The first therapy you wanna do is optimal oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, tooth picking. So the first phase of treating periodontal disease is making sure the patient is doing a great job and optimizing cleaning their teeth. Once we’ve done that, the next step would be to go ahead and remove any sort of plaque or calculus by the doctor. Common procedure in more advanced periodontal treatment is root planing, or deep cleaning. It involves a little bit deeper type of a cleaning underneath the gum to make sure there aren’t any plaque or calculus. After the deep cleaning, we give about three or four weeks of healing.
Make sure that the body’s able to respond to that type of therapy, we then do what’s called a re-evaluation. Re-evaluation is where we probe around the tooth just like we did in the initial examination. What we’re looking for is decreased bleeding, decreased irritation, and decrease in the pockets. If we don’t happen to see a decrease in each of those, then we try to determine how come, or why that they didn’t end up responding. If they didn’t end up responding because there’s calculus remaining or if there is, we can’t get the calculus, then we go into what’s called phase two, a more advanced therapy. Phase two therapy could include periodontal surgery, could involve laser therapy, or a number of other different types of treatments.
So with periodontal disease, per se, or bone loss, again it depends, we start off easy and then the therapies get advanced from there. The other thing that we need to look at, is potential of medical influence. There are patients who are diabetic, patients who smoke, or patients that take medications that will influence a periodontal disease. So a part of the overall treatment is making sure that these patients are looked at, and evaluated, and see if they have other contributing factors, which could be creating a problem to their disease process.