What to Expect for Periodontitis Treatment
During a routine oral examination, your dentist will be able to see signs of periodontitis. Your dentist will probe for the presence of gum pockets and measure them. If plaque and tartar are present, your dentist will do a professional cleaning to remove them. An x-ray may be taken to find out the degree of gum and bone involvement. Depending on the outcome of all these, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for further testing and treatment.
Remember that the goal of perio-treatment is to free your teeth and gums of all plaque, tartar, and bacterial infections. That is why professional cleaning or deep cleaning (called scaling and root planing) is first done. This involves scraping all tartar on rough spots on crown and root, polishing and applying fluoride. Without bacteria, periodontitis will not progress.
Your periodontist will also instruct you to stick to an oral hygiene routine at home. This involves fluoride brushing, flossing, using an electric toothbrush which is more effective, a water pick, and mouthwash. Your specialist will also ask you to stop smoking, if you do. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed if gum infection is persistent and does not respond to cleanings alone.
Follow up with your specialist as often as needed to determine and assess your perio-treatment progress. If periodontal pockets are still present, surgery may be recommended. Flap surgery is done under anesthesia where your gums are lifted and your roots cleaned; your gums will be sutured back into place, fitting snugly around the roots. Hence, pockets are eliminated. If there is also bone loss, bone grafting may be done simultaneously with flap surgery. This regenerates the lost bone.
Without treatment, periodontitis will progress to the point that your jaw bone can be destroyed. You can have painful abscesses. Your teeth can drift apart, get loose in their sockets until they fall out or need pulling out. Gums will continue to recede and expose more roots. Periodontitis carries the risk of increased respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes.
Perio-Protect at Overlake Dental in Bellevue
When you think you might be suffering from periodontitis, come see us in Bellevue and we can discuss about your treatment plan.