What to know about Periodontal Disease Therapy
By John Isbrandt, D.D.S., P.C.
January 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health

If your dentist has diagnosed you with periodontal disease, this information will walk you through the process of treating it.

Periodontitis is a chronic oral inflammatory disease characterized by swelling of the gums and density loss of the bones surrounding the teeth. It causes receding gums, bad breath, and can lead to tooth loss in its later stages. Severe gum disease has also been linked with other more serious vascular problems such as stroke, heart attack and hardening of the arteries. Therefore, it is imperative that its process is arrested through the following techniques:

Calculus removal

A dental hygienist at your St Charles dentist office will begin treating the periodontal disease by removing hardened tartar, also called calculus, from your tooth surfaces. Calculus cannot be removed by conventional brushing or flossing. This is done through a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing, which involves using hand-held instruments that scrape the calculus off the teeth and away from the gums. Mild discomfort is common during and after the procedure; numbing agents can be used to alleviate this.

Oxygen therapy

The bacteria that causes periodontal disease is unable to survive in oxygenated environments. Hydrogen peroxide, administered on the gum line through a water pick at your dentist's office, thoroughly cleans the areas where calculus had previously formed. At home, brushing gently with a hydrogen peroxide solution will prevent the growth of these pathogens. Because periodontitis is a chronic disorder, diligent routine maintenance at home is essential for keeping it at bay.

Other options

Occasionally an oral antibiotic (doxycycline) is prescribed to inhibit bone and tissue loss. Its side effects are generally mild, making it a good choice in helping to eradicate the disease-causing bacteria.

In critically advanced cases, surgery may be the only option. These procedures may involve grafting tissue or bone.

Although periodontitis is a serious infection, it is treatable and largely preventable with proper oral hygiene. Your Kane County dentist will discuss the degree of your diagnosis with you and help to plan a course of action to treat it.

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