What You Should Know About Periodontal Therapy
Here is an important fact to know about dental health. Up to 90 percent of Americans in the country suffer from some type of gum disease. Half, or 50 percent, of all these cases are recognized as moderate to severe dental health problems, with periodontal gum disease considered as one of the most commonly reported cases.
Periodontal gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the small pockets between the teeth roots and the gums. These tiny areas are prone to trapping bacteria from plaque, which is normally flushed away by proper brushing and flossing. If left unattended, the bacteria could collect and cause the gum tissue to swell and bleed in the disease’s first stage commonly known as gingivitis.
Gum Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of periodontal gum disease can include:
- Development of abscess or pus in the gums
- Swelling gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose, drifting or tilting teeth
- Severely bad breath
- Gums turning a shade of deep red
It’s also worth pointing out that this dental disease often starts out without any pain at all. It can strike regardless of age and gender. Even individuals who brush regularly may get it.
Cause of Gum Disease
Bacterial plaque is the most common cause of periodontal gum disease. The plaque builds up faster depending on your lifestyle. A poor diet, smoking, misaligned bite, genetics and smoking can all exacerbate the buildup of bacterial plaque along the gum line. If left unresolved, the plaque could pile up and cause swelling, leading to a gradual destruction surrounding gum tissue or worse, the bone itself. The result is excruciating pain and teeth falling out.
In fact, it is periodontal gum disease, and not tooth decay, that’s the main cause of tooth loss.
Gum Disease Treatment
Fortunately, there is a course of treatment for periodontal gum disease that’s not only effective and quick, but minimally invasive as well.
It’s called periodontal therapy.
Non-surgical periodontal therapy, also known as conventional periodontal therapy, is an effective course of treatment for the removal of calculus and bacterial plaque. The removal of these disease-causing agents can help in containing the growth of bacteria, thereby preventing gum disease, or reducing its symptoms.
At the earliest stages of periodontal gum disease, periodontal therapy alone is enough to cure the problem. If the gum problems are at more advanced stages however, periodontal therapy would need to coincide with a host of other treatments, such as extraction, root canal therapy, dental fillings and crown replacements, bridge insertions and more.
Categories and Forms of Gum Disease
Periodontal therapy typically includes 3 forms of treatment, all geared towards cleaning up plaque and other bacterial agents.
The first is periodontal scaling, the process in which stains, calculus and plaque are removed from the crown. This is followed by root planing, the process of eliminating dentin and cementum from the calculus.
Antibiotic treatment is another method of cleaning up dental bacteria to prevent periodontal gum disease. Often dispensed in pill or powder, these antibiotics are all geared towards controlling the growth of bacteria.
Lasers are also used in periodontal therapy. Laser treatments are non-surgical, thereby lessening the chance of bleeding and swelling. They are often used in tandem with periodontal scaling and root planing to make the process more effective.