What Is Periodontal Disease/Gum disease? Gum disease is an oral health condition that begins as a result of a bacterial infection. It is a progressive condition that only continues to grow worse the longer it goes untreated. Treatment for gum disease varies based on the severity of your condition. At Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry, we can provide you with the effective treatment you need to stabilize the progression of gum disease and improve the health of your mouth.
How Gum Disease Progresses
There are many kinds of bacteria in your mouth. Some are good, but many are bad. The bad bacteria, if not removed daily with brushing, flossing or other methods can grow to the point where they cause irritation to your gums.This triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. Gums become red and swollen. Eventually, the swollen tissue pulls away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal, or gum, pockets. As the pocket grows deeper, more toxic types of bacteria develop. The more toxic types of bacteria are capable of attacking the bone and periodontal ligaments that support your teeth.These supporting structures weaken, causing your teeth to become unstable. Your gums recede, and your teeth become loose and start shifting. You may even be faced with tooth loss.
Prophylaxis is a regular dental cleaning. This type of treatment is performed in the absence of gum disease. We clean and polish the surfaces of your teeth, eliminating plaque, tartar, and bacteria, above the gumline and just below the gum line. There is little to no gum inflammation present and the bone and other supporting structures of the teeth are intact.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing, or “deep cleaning” is a non-surgical treatment that is commonly used to treat gum disease. This treatment involves not only cleaning the surfaces of your teeth above the gumline, but also the surfaces below the gum line. Scaling is the process of cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth, with special attention given along, and just below, the gum line. Root planing is the process of cleaning the root surfaces of your teeth, where bone loss has occurred, smoothing them. This helps slow down new bacteria from accumulating and attaching to the root. We also use antimicrobial rinses and gels in the deeper pockets to kill any remaining bacteria. With this treatment, your gums can reattach to your teeth, helping to prevent further bone loss.
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy
At Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we use the diode laser to help treat gum disease. The diode laser is attracted to red, swollen, inflamed tissue, so it perfectly targets infected gums. It removes the inflamed tissue and kills bacteria, This, in conjunction with a deep cleaning and antimicrobial gels and rinses. are the primary non-surgical treatments we perform. After active periodontal therapy, it is important to stay on a maintenance schedule of 3-4 month re-care visits as there is no cure for gum disease.
If these efforts at stabilizing your gum disease, along with improved home care, do not result in reduced pocket depth and inflammation, then a referral to a periodontist will be made. A periodontist is a gum disease specialist and may propose surgery or other treatments to stabilize the disease. There currently is no cure for periodontal disease.
Treating gum disease is essential for stopping its progression and allowing your mouth to heal. Just like any other disease, the earlier it is treated, the better the long term prognosis. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry at (623) 562-5230 today.