Periodontal therapy refers to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease including both the soft tissue and the bone surrounding the teeth. Examples of some of the symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Red or swollen tissue
- Loose or missing teeth
- Pus in the gum tissue
- Persistent bad breath
- Deep pockets around your teeth
- Calculus build-up at the gumline around the roots of the teeth
- Shifting of your teeth
Some of the risk factors related to contributing to gum disease include:
- Frequent alcoholic beverages
- Diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis
- Poor diet / nutrition
- Poor oral hygiene at home
- Lack of professional routine maintenance check-ups
- Poor manual dexterity or physically challenged
While the American Dental Association claims that 70% of the adult population has some level of periodontal disease, what you may not know is that approximately 50% of children 5-6 years old have the precursor called gingivitis already starting in their mouth from poor home care. This is why Dr. Donley prefers seeing children early on to help modify their home care and guide them to having healthier mouths. Children do not have the physical dexterity to adequately clean their teeth until age 8 or 9 in most cases. Therefore, mom or dad should take responsibility for their children’s health by flossing and brushing for them once a day before bedtime.
Is Periodontal Disease Reversible?
If these symptoms are caught in the early stages of progression, yes. As the disease progresses and there is accompanying bone loss, then it may not be. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory response to an infection. The goal is to remove the infection and reduce or eliminate the inflammation. At the later stages of disease, we do our best to help you maintain the tissue and bone that you have remaining.
What are Some of the Options for Treating Gum Disease?
We offer many non-surgical options at our office including:
- Gum Infection Control (scaling and root planing) to clear the bacterial plaque and calculus off the roots of your teeth. We also scale the teeth to make the roots smoother to minimize trapping of bacteria and food.
- In addition, we can do a DNA test to identify if you have any genetic predisposition for periodontal disease.
- A bacterial DNA test can also be performed to determine which of the 11 periodontal bacteria are present. Specific appropriate antibiotics can then be used as part of the therapy.
- The Rotadent electric toothbrush does an excellent job in reducing the amount of biofilm (plaque) growing on the teeth.
- We offer CloSYS® rinse and tooth paste to help reduce the bacteria count in the gums.
- We can use our dental laser to help reduce and kill the bacteria that are deeper in the pockets.
- There are many other home care products including the use of specific antibiotics to lower your risk of infection. These include mouth rinses, toothpastes, dental floss and more!
Scaling and root planing is a common procedure done periodically to help remove the build-up that occurs below the gumline and halt the progression of the disease. It is also referred to as a “deep cleaning”. Typically, it is done with anesthetic to allow the procedure to be done comfortably. In some cases, if we need to treat the entire mouth, we might do half the mouth at a time to leave half of your mouth to chew with. When done in conjunction with a great home oral healthcare routine, it can be quite effective.
While many people think about teeth cleanings twice a year, we have seen the benefits to more frequent patients who have heavy staining from smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking lots of coffee or soda. In addition, those patients who experience dry mouth – xerostomia – need to be more diligent with their home care as do bulimic patients, those with asthma and people who have had a lot of dental work done. Many of our patients are on 3 or 4 mouth maintenance cleanings.
Our goal is to offer you NON-SURGICAL options in advance of the surgical options as a conservative way to help you keep your teeth. Call the office of Dr. James R. Donley at Lumbertown Dental Wellness in North Muskegon, Michigan to learn more about these options.