If it has been determined that you have periodontitis, then you need to talk to a dentist about possible non-surgical treatments. These treatments come first, and some of them can work rather well, but you need to get started on them before the disease gets worse.
What Is Periodontitis?
The early stages of periodontitis are called gingivitis. At this stage, the bacterium that causes the infection mostly stays above the gum line. It is revealed by bleeding gums. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing them can often remove this threat to your gums and teeth.
If the infection is allowed to continue and the teeth are not cleaned as they should be, the infection progresses and the bacteria increases, enabling it to move below the gum line. Once there, it begins to form pockets in the gums, from where it starts to destroy the connective tissue, and the bone. After a while, the teeth will become loose, and need to be removed.
When Can Non-Surgical Treatments Be Used?
While periodontitis is still in a more mild stage, it can often be treated successfully without the use of surgery. Surgery is only necessary when it becomes more advanced and forms deep pockets. It also is normally only used after the non-surgical methods have been tried and failed.
The process used in regular dental cleaning is insufficient to remove periodontitis. A more involved process that will likely be used first is called scaling and planing (also called deep cleaning). This method removes tartar above and below the gum line and also seeks to smooth out the surface of the roots to make it harder for plaque to build up on them. It many cases, this process will be all that is needed.
After this procedure has been performed, the dentist will make a follow-up appointment in about six weeks. During this second appointment, the dentist will determine whether or not the treatment was a success or not. Ordinary dental cleaning every three or four months may be recommended to ensure periodontitis stays under control.
After you have had your teeth and gums scaled and planed, medications may be given. Some dentists may use these in conjunction with the rooting and scaling. There are two ways these may be delivered. They may be placed in the gums and slowly leak their medicines into the surrounding areas, or a tray system may be used. This medication is not likely to work as a stand-alone product, but must be used with the deep cleaning.
Antibiotics may also be given. It may be taken orally, but it also must be combined with deep cleaning to be effective.
The dentists at Amazing Smile Dental NY, in the Forest Hills area of Queens, NY, are glad to offer exams and non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease. We want to help you keep your teeth and have a great smile, too. We offer a complete range of dental services for the entire family. Call us today at (718) 674-6478 to learn more and to make an appointment.