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4 Periodontal Treatments from Your Dentist
While periodontitis may make you feel worried about your gums, your regular dentist will have the knowledge for basic routine periodontal treatments. They may even be able to carry these treatments out at their office.
In the cases of advanced periodontal disease, other periodontal treatments may be necessary. Four of these possible treatments are listed below.
1. Scaling and root planing
This is a non-surgical treatment for periodontal diseases. Scaling involves the scraping and removal of bacteria, plaque and tartar from the tooth’s surface. Think of this has a deeper cleaning than the normal cleaning done by your dental hygienist every visit. A local anesthetic is sometimes offered to alleviate any pain or discomfort from the treatment.
Root planing focuses on the tooth root surfaces, by smoothing the roots out and preventing bacteria, plaque or tartar from re-attaching themselves to the gums. This prevention gives time for your gums to heal from any periodontal infection. Scaling and root planing is often the most common routine periodontal treatment.
2. Pocket reduction procedure
Also known as flap surgery, a pocket reduction procedure is a surgical approach to periodontal disease. In this treatment, the gums are lifted back so the tartar and bacteria can be removed. The tooth and root are also smoothed out to prevent any further bacteria adherence. The gum flap is then placed back so it fits closely to the tooth, removing any excess space for bacteria to try and re-enter. This also encourages the gums to adhere to the tooth.
3. Skin and bone grafts
Both soft tissue and bone grafts are options for periodontal diseases where grafts are needed to help prevent further decay and give dental support. With soft tissue grafts, the tissue is taken from other parts of the mouth, such as the roof of the mouth. Then it is added to thinned gum tissue or sites where the tooth root is exposed. Bone grafts are done for the bones destroyed by the gum disease and to assist in regrowing the bone and tissue at the site.
4. Tissue regeneration
Tissue-stimulating proteins can be applied to the gum site as a special gel. This encourages the growth of healthy bone and tissue to the diseased gum areas. Guided tissue regeneration involves a special fabric that is placed between your tooth and bone. This prevents tissue or bone from growing where it should not while promoting growth in appropriate areas.
Once these routine periodontal treatments are put in place, maintenance is still an important part of the treatment of periodontal diseases. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to assist with keeping the inflammation and infection from returning. Good oral hygiene will help prevent any further infections and make sure the treatments are effective. This means regular flossing and brushing, replacing your toothbrush every few months and, finally, no smoking. The dentist may also request further visits to monitor the gum disease and treatment effectiveness.
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