Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) affects almost 50% of the population over 30. While it is a common problem, when left untreated it can quickly lead to the loss of teeth. With the many treatment options available at our clinic, we can often avoid this outcome.
Therefore, we start every treatment series with an entire dental hygiene treatment that is part of a professional cleaning.
Gingivitis to Periodontitis
Gum disease is a progressive disease. While it may seem innocent in the beginning, left untreated it can have serious consequences later.
In the first stage (gingivitis) when bacterial plaque is not properly removed from your teeth, your gum will become red, swollen and it can also start bleeding. By daily brushing, flossing, and a professional cleaning at our dental clinic, this condition is easily reversible.
Gingivitis, however, can lead to a more serious condition called periodontitis when left untreated. At this point, the toxins produced from the build-up of bacterial plaque affect not only your gum tissue, but also the bone and ligaments that support your teeth. When the infection spreads into the bone and surrounding tissues, your teeth may become loose and need more serious treatment.
Non-surgical treatment of periodontitis
During the scaling and root planning (SRP), we scrape and remove the plaque and tartar off of your teeth and root surfaces by scaling, then smooth any unevenness on the roots to prevent bacteria from gathering again. SRP is done using local anaesthesia and may take several visits. The aim of this treatment is to let the gum heal and reattach itself to the now healthy and clean surface.
Flap surgery (pocket reduction)
If SRP doesn’t yield the desired outcome and the gum tissue doesn’t grow back to the tooth well enough to keep the deep pocket area clean, pocket reduction or flap surgery can be the next step. We can remove infectious bacteria and smooth the damaged bone areas by folding the gum tissue back. This will allow the gum tissue to reattach to the healthy bone.
To keep periodontal disease from reappearing, it is very important to follow an oral care regimen. At our clinic, we take the time to explain and show proper brushing and flossing techniques as a prevention. More frequent check-ups and cleaning appointments are recommended, and smoking patients should also stop smoking in order to prevent periodontal disease from reappearing.