Periodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses exclusively on the inflammatory disease that damages the gums as well as other supporting structures around the teeth. Procedures such as scaling and root planing, root surface debridement, and regenerative procedures are all treatments that can help to restore the gums back to health. Occasionally, a surgical procedure may be needed for patients with severe gum disease.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. This is the sticky white substance that constantly forms on your teeth and gums. If not cleaned away regularly, the bacteria are allowed to attack the teeth and gums, causing an infection that colonizes in the gingival tissues, which, in turn, results in deep pockets forming between the teeth and gums.
Early stages of periodontal disease generally affect only the gums. However, as the condition progresses and worsens, the surrounding tissues also become affected, potentially leading to tooth loss. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
At our office, we offer several treatments to address periodontal disease. The early stage of the disease, called gingivitis, is usually reversible with one or two professional cleanings. This helps to clean out the bacteria in and around the gums and, with increased diligence of daily oral hygiene habits, can return the gums to a healthy state. Another treatment is a scaling and root planing, also known as a deep cleaning. This treatment is a more thorough cleaning, reaching into and cleaning out the periodontal pockets as well as the areas above the gum line. More advanced cases of periodontal disease will require surgical treatment. Periodontal pocket reduction, gum graft surgery, and dental implants are some surgical procedures available to treat gum disease.
Your dental specialist can provide you with the periodontal treatment you need to fight gum disease and have healthy gums once again.