Periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease, is serious oral health issue. While it starts out barely noticeable, it can progress into something much more severe if it goes untreated. It begins with a buildup of plaque and oral bacteria irritating your gum tissue. This irritation triggers an inflammatory response, which then causes the tissue to swell. Over time, the swollen tissue begins pulling away from the teeth, creating pockets that trap bacteria and other debris. The bacteria continue attacking your gums from inside these pockets, causing them to grow deeper. Bacteria also begin attacking the structures that support your teeth. Your teeth eventually become loose and may even fall out.
What Is Periodontal Therapy?
Periodontal therapy is a nonsurgical treatment for periodontal disease that involves removing all of the buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, both above and below the gumline, including plaque, tartar, bacteria, and other debris. By removing the buildup from your teeth, your gums can begin reattaching to your teeth, and your mouth can begin to heal. This particular treatment involves scaling and root planing, basically a deep cleaning of your teeth, to achieve these goals.
How Is Periodontal Therapy Done?
Periodontal therapy, while nonsurgical, is still performed under a local anesthetic. Your gums may be tender, so numbing them allows you to remain calm and comfortable while we clean your teeth. The procedure begins with scaling. With the use of a scaler, we effectively scrape all of the buildup from the visible surfaces of your teeth. We take extra care around the gumline as well as just below the gumline. Removing this buildup allows the irritation to be removed from your gums, easing the inflammation.
Following scaling, we move on to root planing. Root planing is the cleaning of the tooth roots. Using specialized tools, we smooth the surfaces of your tooth roots, which makes it more difficult for any new bacteria to adhere. Once root planing is done, an antibacterial wash is used to destroy any bacteria that might still be hanging around. Once your treatment is complete, we schedule you for a follow-up 6 to 8 weeks later. Follow-up is essential for ensuring that your gums are beginning to heal. If we find that your gums are not healing properly, the next step is periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a series of regularly scheduled visits 2 to 6 months apart so that we can examine and clean your teeth, so they can continue the healing process, restoring your oral health and your smile.
With periodontal therapy, we can stop the progression of periodontal disease and help to restore the health of your mouth without surgery. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today at Tulsa: (918) 749-0303 Claremore: (918) 343-4300.