Periodontal disease is a widespread problem in the United States. It affects about half of all Americans, including about 70% of all seniors in the nation. The best periodontal disease treatment is prevention, but beyond that, there are a few ways to reverse the effects of gum disease.
Severity Dictates Periodontal Disease Treatment
When your teeth and gums are healthy, maintaining that level of health will prevent disease from sneaking up on you.
Proper brushing techniques to remove plaque before it can harden to form tartar will reduce the chances of bacteria getting under your gums. If bacteria does get in, the first level of gum disease is gingivitis.
Gingivitis is often characterized by bleeding gums, usually when brushing your teeth. You may also notice a slight discoloration or swelling in the gums.
Most of the time, you can reverse this stage by upping your teeth cleaning game. Focus on clearing plaque from around your gums. You may also need a medicated mouthwash from your Houston dentist.
Periodontitis is the middle stage. This stage is a little more difficult to treat.
Periodontal disease treatment at this stage almost always requires seeing your Houston dentist.
The dentist will clear away any plaque and tartar along the gum line. The most common method is scaling and root planing.
Scaling is essentially scraping away bacteria. Subsequently, root planing smooths out the roots of teeth. By reducing the rough surfaces bacteria can cling to, teeth are easier to clean.
The last stage of periodontal disease is advanced periodontitis. This stage is very invasive, even going to far as infecting the bones of the jaw.
This stage is very difficult to treat, often requiring somewhat invasive treatment techniques.
Most often, treatment for this stage is flap surgery. Small incisions are made in the gums, and the tissue is peeled up. This reveals the roots of the teeth for cleaning.
If there is a lot of damage, the patient may also need soft tissue grafts or guided tissue regeneration.
In worst case scenarios, they may also need bone grafts to repair infected parts of the jaw.