Non-surgical Periodontal “Gum” Therapy
Periodontal Disease Treatment and Periodontal “Gum” Therapy
Healthy gums are an essential component to overall dental health, and our periodontal ‘gum’ therapy treatment looks to address the causes of and prevent periodontal disease.
Commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a family of related chronic inflammatory diseases that are all bacterial infections. The word “periodontal” means “around the tooth”. Each tooth is embedded in the gum, and attached by connective tissue to bone. Healthy gums are pink, smooth, and firm. Your bone and gum tissue should fit around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, which produce the sticky, soft, colorless substance known as plaque.
Healthy gums are identified as pink, smooth, and firm.
Potential warning signs that can signal a problem for developing periodontal disease:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
As plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar on the surfaces of the teeth, bacteria releases toxins that irritate the gums, causing the gums to swell, turn red, and bleed easily. Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar or calculus. This build-up of tartar worsens the condition, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth forming spaces called “pockets” around the teeth. Over time these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. These deeper pockets result in tissue and bone loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the tooth or teeth will need to be extracted.
“My gums had been bleeding for some time, A colleague recommended Alexandria Dental Care, the personal attention and care I received from Dr. Lu made me feel well taken care of. Thank you for everything, Dr. Lu.”
– Violet, Alexandria, VA
Treating Periodontal Disease:
Periodontal therapy is necessary to arrest the progression of gum disease. The most common and a more conservative approach to treating periodontal disease is non-surgical treatment. After treatment, you should receive more frequent cleanings to maintain control of the disease. You must also have to develop good oral hygiene at home and try to reduce other risk factors for gum disease. Successful treatment requires the commitment of the both the dentist and patient.
Non-surgical treatment, or “scaling and root planning” is a deep cleaning treatment performed on your teeth and gums using local anesthesia. During treatment, Dr. Lu uses a vibrating ultrasonic device to scrape tartar from the visible part of the tooth. To get the harder-to-reach tartar beneath the gum line, a curette is used to probe and clean out the pockets formed around the tooth. At the same time, any diseased periodontal tissue may be removed with use of the Diode laser. The laser will kill the bacteria that cause your gum disease and increase healing of your gums around your teeth, helping revive and rejuvenate the attachment of your gum tissue. During or after treatment antibiotics or antimicrobial rinses may be used to promote healing.