Periodontal disease results due to inflammation and infection of the gums and bones surrounding the teeth. In its initial stages, it is often referred to as gingivitis. It is often characterized by red swollen and bleeding gums. It can be reversed by flossing and brushing of teeth regularly. In case gingivitis is not treated on time, it slowly graduates to periodontal disease.
In this stage, the gums pull away leaving the teeth behind forming spaces called pockets. Bacteria stay on the teeth and form a substance called plaque that gradually hardens to form tartar or calculus. Tartar can be very hard to clean once it forms on one’s teeth. However, it can be removed by an experienced health dental specialist through a professional treatment procedure.
Signs that may show that one has periodontal disease include;
- Bad taste and smell that lasts very long
- Swollen or red gums
- Pain when chewing
- Highly sensitive teeth
- Pulled away gums
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Development of partial dentures
Signs of periodontal disease do not show till someone is in their 30 or 40 years. Studies show that men are more likely to get the disease than women.
Periodontal (Gum) Treatment often involves root planing and scaling. Treatment varies based on the extent of the infection. Some studies suggest that using medications help reduce the need for surgery. The primary aim of the treatment is to control the degree of bacterial infection. In any treatment, the patient is required to adopt good dental hygiene involving regular teeth brushing and flossing and also avoid smoking. This helps increase chances of getting a positive outcome.
How it is performed
As mentioned earlier, periodontal disease treatment depends on the severity of the problem. However, in most cases, a dentist will do a deep cleaning procedure around the gum line to remove plaque. This process is referred to as scaling or root planing. Root planing involves the elimination of rough spots that develop on the root of the teeth and accumulate germs. Scaling, on the other hand, involves scraping to eliminate tartar that forms below and above the gum line. Other advanced treatment options include the use of lasers to rid tartar and plaque.
In the case of surgical treatment, there are various procedures involved. Among the procedures include;
- Bone grafts. This is where bone fragments, synthetic bone or even a donated bone is used. The process helps to restore the full functionality of the teeth.
- Flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery. The gums are lifted back, for easy removable of tartar. The procedure helps to reduce the gap between the teeth and the gum hence reducing the space where bacteria can thrive.
- Bone surgery can also be done to smoothen any craters in the bone in the case of bone loss. Bacteria, therefore, cannot find space to thrive.
- Tissue regeneration. This is done where the bone supports the damaged tooth. It is aimed at stimulating the growth of gum tissues and bones. Tissue grafts. This helps reinforce the gaps where gum has receded. The tissue is added to the affected area.
How to prepare for periodontal treatment
When going for a periodontal treatment procedure, it is essential to prepare early. This includes eating six hours before the treatment. There is no donation of blood allowed 3-4 weeks to treatment. Alcohol and cigarette smoking are all prohibited especially 24 hours before treatment. Thorough brushing, rinsing, and flossing are recommended for at least 30 seconds in a day.
Comfortable clothing is also essential on that particular date. Additionally, most dentists do recommend preparing recovery area as early as possible. This is because it is often hard to do so once the treatment is over. Blankets and pillows, books, movies and video games should all be in place before the actual day of treatment.
How to recover
Recovering from advanced gum disease is painful and often takes long. During the process of recovery, the dentist provides support and advises on how a patient can go for regular appointments. The regular appointments involve treatment options that help remove any bacteria tartar and plaque from the mouth. Other treatment options such as gum contouring and implants are often administered in case the damage caused in extensive. A dentist also teaches their patients how to brush and floss regularly to reduce the recovery time. Proper treatment and management of the periodontal disease are essential for full recovery.