Periodontal Disease

Periodontal DiseaseIn diagnosing periodontal disease, an instrument called a probe is used to measure the space between teeth and gums. If the space is greater than three millimeters and the gums bleed, that indicates a problem developing with the gums. The beginning stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and if left untreated, gingivitis will develop into more advanced stages of periodontal disease. Treatment depends on how far the disease has progressed and what type of disease is involved.

In the beginning of treatment, a thorough cleaning of the teeth, including scaling, will be done. This procedure will remove tartar and plaque below the gumline, as well as bacteria. Tooth roots may also be cleaned. This procedure will cause smoothing of the root surface, also known as root planing, so that the gums are able to heal and reattach to the tooth. Adjustment of the bite may also be necessary.

Antibiotics may be prescribed to help kill bacteria, and antimicrobial irrigation, such as a specific mouthwash, can be part of the procedure. When scaling of the teeth and root planing has been done, antibiotics can also be inserted in periodontal pockets to further kill bacteria and help to promote healing.

In some cases, surgery may be needed if the pockets between teeth and gums are too deep. The dentist will not be able to completely remove all plaque and tartar, and the patient cannot keep pockets of this type clean.

For a better oral health, always schedule regular checkups with your dentist. Periodontal disease can also be diagnosed during these checkups and you can be treated before any irreversible damage has occurred.

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