Periodontal Therapy in La Crescenta, CA
Periodontal-GUM-disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums & bone supporting your teeth.
Despite popular belief, losing our teeth as we age is not an absolute, provided we maintain good oral hygiene, receive professional cleanings, and schedule regular check-ups at least once per year. That said, it is also important to care for the structures that support the teeth as well, namely gum tissue and tooth-supporting bones. In addition to keep your smile looking the best it can, these steps can also thwart gum disease, a pathological inflammatory condition of the gums that can lead to tooth loss.
Regular dental exams can help detect periodontal disease (gum disease) early when it’s easier to treat. The same can be said for cavities and other dental problems as well. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the importance of periodontal therapy and how it can help us keep our natural teeth longer.
How Periodontal Disease Contributes to Tooth Loss
Before detailing the benefits of periodontal therapy, let’s get a better understanding of how the disease contributes to tooth loss. Periodontal disease can quickly migrate from the gums to tooth-supporting bones. When this occurs, the bones that act as a foundation for the teeth become compromised, which, in turn, causes the teeth to become loose before finally separating from the gums. Periodontal therapy can prevent this chain of events from occurring; however, the treatment can be very invasive and will require frequent several follow-up visits.
That aside, most periodontal treatments will start with scaling, which is a deep cleaning whereby tartar, as well as plaque, is removed from the patient’s gum line. In some cases, this process, along with routine cleanings, will be enough to control and prevent periodontal disease from advancing. However, in other cases, patients may also need to undergo oral surgery as a means of repairing gum and bone tissue damaged by the disease. Additional treatments may also be needed depending upon the severity of the disease.
Common Periodontal Therapy Procedures
Generally speaking, multiple surgical and non-surgical procedures are used to improve bone and gum health. Some of these procedures include
Scaling and root planing – This procedure is often considered the first step toward controlling gum disease and entails using either hand scalers or ultrasonic dental instruments to remove plaque and calculus buildup.
Gum grafting – This process involves removing healthy gum tissue from one area of the patient’s mouth to another. If periodontal disease has severely damaged the gum tissue surrounding a particular tooth, surrounding it with healthy gum tissue can help protect it from being exposed to bacteria, food particles, and other contaminants.
Periodontal Plastic Surgery – Similar to any other cosmetic procedure, periodontal plastic surgery entails reshaping and improving the overall appearance of the gum tissue.
Periodontal Laser Treatment – This procedure, which is sometimes used as an alternative to traditional surgery, involves using lasers to remove diseased gum tissue. It is important to note that laser treatments are less painful and cause less gum shrinkage when compared to surgical methods. As such, it is quickly becoming the treatment of choice for patients and dentists alike.
The procedures listed in this article do not fully represent all of the periodontal treatments available to all patients as such a list would be very extensive. Ideally, you should schedule a visit with your dentist who can outline a course of treatment that will work best for you. The best way to avoid gum disease is by brushing and flossing regularly, which not only minimizes plaque and tartar buildup but also lowers the probability of developing the disease.