How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gums and the bone surrounding your teeth. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, the condition can become more serious and lead to irreversible damage to the teeth and gums. But the good news is that there are effective treatments to manage and even reverse the effects of this condition.
Our experienced dentists break down the most common treatment options for periodontal disease, from basic oral hygiene practices to surgical interventions. Whether you’re dealing with gum disease or looking to stay informed about your oral health, here’s how periodontal disease is treated.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the tooth's surface. These bacteria produce toxins that attack the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. This can lead to an array of periodontal diseases, ranging from mild gingivitis (the early stage) to more severe and chronic forms.
In its earliest form, gingivitis may manifest as red, swollen, bleeding gums. However, if caught and treated early by a dentist, the effects of periodontal disease can be reversed.
Periodontal Disease Symptoms
Periodontal disease can have symptoms of varying severity. If you experience any of the following warning signs of periodontal disease, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Persistent Bad Breath
Swollen, Red, or Irritated Gums
Deep Pockets Between Your Teeth and Your Gums
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
If you have periodontal disease, you may wonder what treatment is right for you. The good news is that various treatment options are available, both surgical and non-surgical.
If you have periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend a treatment plan that is right for you. One of the most common treatments is non-surgical periodontal therapy.
Non-surgical periodontal therapy involves a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums. The dentist or periodontist will remove plaque and tartar that have built up below the gumline. They may also use a laser or ultrasonic instrument to remove plaque and tartar below the gum line.
The goal of non-surgical periodontal therapy is to remove plaque and tartar, reduce inflammation, and prevent further damage to the gums and bone.
Surgical periodontal therapy is a more advanced treatment for more severe cases of periodontal disease. The dentist or periodontist will make incisions in the gums and remove plaque, tartar, and diseased tissue. They may also reposition the gums or bone.
The goal of surgical periodontal therapy is to remove plaque and tartar that cannot be removed by other means, to repair damage to the gums and bone, or to reposition the gums.
Once you have completed treatment for periodontal disease, you must continue with regular maintenance appointments with your dentist. These appointments are typically more thorough than your regular six-month cleanings and are essential for preventing the disease from coming back.
During your maintenance appointment, your dentist will:
Check your gums for signs of inflammation
Remove any plaque or tartar that has built up below the gum line
Irrigate your gums with a medicated solution
Provide you with instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums at home
The Importance of Ongoing Maintenance
Periodontal disease is a chronic condition, meaning it can come back even after you have undergone treatment. Ongoing maintenance helps keep the disease under control and prevent it from returning.
Talking to your dentist about starting a maintenance program is important if you have had periodontal disease. Regular maintenance lets you keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
Contact Our Experienced West Omaha Dentists
At Eagle Run West Dental Group, we are experts in diagnosing and treating gum disease. We offer various treatment options, including non-surgical and surgical periodontal therapy. We also provide ongoing maintenance programs to help prevent gum disease from coming back.
If you think you may have gum disease, please schedule an appointment with us today. We will assess your condition and recommend the best course of treatment for you.
About the Author: Drs. Sharlene and Robert Wilson offer various general and cosmetic dentistry services in Omaha, NE. They earned their doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. With over 30 years of combined experience, both are committed to helping patients achieve beautiful, healthy, and long-lasting smiles. Call 402-498-8804 to schedule an appointment.