Everything You Need to Know About Comprehensive Periodontal Treatment
Restore and Protect Your Gum Health with Periodontal Treatment
Everything’s easier when you have a game plan. Whether it’s football, getting your kids out the door on time, or your oral health, having a game plan helps you know what steps to take next and which individual elements of your plan you should be paying closer attention to. When it comes to your oral health, it’s wise to make sure your game plan takes your gums into consideration. After all, your gums are essential to your oral and overall health. They function as part of the foundation for your teeth and seal vulnerable tooth roots off from bacteria to protect them from decay. Keeping bacteria above the gum line also keeps them out of your bloodstream, protecting your long-term overall health and keeping periodontitis at bay. The best type of periodontal treatment is prevention.
When your gums aren’t healthy, you don’t have to resign yourself to the consequences—you can put together a game plan to get your gums healthy again! This is where comprehensive periodontal treatment comes in. The goal of this type of treatment is to preserve, improve, and maintain your gum health for years to come. But what does comprehensive periodontal treatment involve? Everyone’s treatment is a little different depending on their unique needs, but here are the basics of what you can expect from it.
Regular periodontal evaluations are an essential part of protecting your oral health. They help keep your gums healthy and give your dentist the chance to diagnose any existing issues. To do this, they’ll identify any risk factors you may have for gum disease, check your mouth for plaque build-ups, and use a physical exam and an X-ray to look at the health of your teeth, gums, bite, and jaw bone.
Your dentist looks at several factors to diagnose gum disease and to determine how severe it is. Swollen or bleeding gums are clear signs of gum disease, but your dentist will also check for signs of gum recession by measuring the depth of the pocket between your gums and teeth. Generally, a healthy pocket depth should be between 1 and 3 millimeters, while anything 4 millimeters or more is likely a sign of periodontitis. An X-ray may also be necessary to help determine whether or not your jaw bone has been impacted by severe gum disease.
The good news is that gum disease is very treatable! How easy it is to treat, however, depends upon how severe your case is. Certain risk factors like smoking or autoimmune diseases can also make it a little harder to get rid of gum disease, but recovery is far from impossible! Gingivitis is the easiest to treat and can usually be managed at home, while periodontitis is more severe and requires more involved treatments in the dentist’s office. It’s important to realize, however, that severe periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, so you should seek treatment for gum disease as soon as possible! Once you kick periodontitis or gingivitis to the curb, you’ll need to be more conscious than ever about maintaining a good at-home oral hygiene routine to ensure it doesn’t come back.
Periodontal Treatment Options
Gingivitis is usually relatively simple to treat. You can typically get rid of it at home by adopting—and sticking to—a regular oral hygiene routine. A thorough oral hygiene routine should include brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using mouthwash daily. On the other hand, periodontitis requires more involved treatments from your dentist. There are nonsurgical and surgical treatments for periodontitis, and which you need depends on the severity of your case. Nonsurgical treatments include root scaling and planing, which are normally done together. These treatments provide a deep clean underneath your gum line, removing bacteria from your tooth roots, and smoothing out your roots. This makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow on them in the future and allows your gums to reattach to the tooth more easily.
If you have a more serious case of periodontitis, you may need surgical treatments like pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure, your dentist opens up your gums to clean your tooth roots more directly and reduces any pockets that have developed between your teeth and gums as a result of your gum disease. Once your gums are healed and free of gum disease, you may also need gum or bone grafts to restore gum recession or bone loss from severe periodontitis. Whether you’ve had gingivitis or gum disease, your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic to help lower the chances of infection and help your gums to heal faster.
Periodontal Treatment – Evaluation and Maintenance Plan
Once you’ve had gum disease, you’re more likely to suffer from it in the future, so it’s more important than ever to get regular periodontal evaluations and professional dental cleanings. At first, you’ll likely need to get preventive cleanings at the dental office every three or four months instead of every six months. This helps your dentist catch any potential issues early and helps them cut down on the amount of plaque buildup around your gums.
You should also stick to a regular at-home oral hygiene routine to ensure that your gums stay healthy in the long run. Flossing is a particularly vital part of maintaining gum health because it removes bacteria from around your gum line. Even if you’re brushing your teeth incredibly well, your toothbrush simply can’t reach all the nooks and crannies that floss can, so make sure not to skip flossing. If you have trouble using floss, though, don’t worry! Options like water flossers can help you floss your teeth easily and thoroughly. Using an antibacterial mouthwash that’s specifically designed to help fight gum disease should also be a vital part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
Your gums play an essential role in your oral and overall health, so it’s just as important to give them the care they need as it is to care for your teeth. Your dentist can help you come up with a game plan not just to get your gums healthy, but to keep them healthy in the long term. If you suspect you may have gum disease or if you have questions about how to take better care of your gums, feel free to call and schedule an appointment at any time.