Periodontal Treatment in Lake Worth, FL
Gum disease, technically called periodontal disease is a very destructive inflammatory condition that leads to tooth loss. It is a result of bacteria and their by-products. There are different stages of gum disease and therefore the treatment can vary.
How Do You Diagnose Gum Disease?
A comprehensive evaluation of the mouth combined with x-rays allows us to diagnose gum disease. At your first visit, you will hear the clinician call out numbers to the dental assistant. She enters these numbers into the digital chart. These numbers are measurements of the bone level surrounding the teeth. Gum disease leads to bone loss, so the more advanced the gum diseases is, the more bone loss, the higher the numbers. For example, the numbers 1, 2, and 3 millimeters represents healthy bone levels. The number four is a warning area. Five and six is a depth that can be predictably treated with deep cleanings (technically called scaling and root planing) and follow up maintenance visits. If 7-8 are found, the services of a periodontist are generally required for minor gum surgery to correct the problem. If nine or greater, many times the tooth/teeth cannot be saved. It is these numbers combined with gums that bleed easily, sometimes pus and tooth mobility, and certain radiographic criteria that lead to a diagnosis.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Early and moderate periodontal disease is treated through deep cleanings (SRP). Generally, anesthetic is used and half of the mouth (right or left) is completed at a time. We will frequently deposit antibiotics in between the gum and tooth to help wipe out the bad bacteria. One aspect of Palms Dental Care that sets us apart from other offices is that we allow plenty of time for the hygienist to do a proper/thorough job. Our hygienists are experts at treating periodontal disease and we take our time to ensure it is done effectively. For more advanced gum disease, deep cleaning may still be the first step, but then a follow-up visit will be held with the periodontist (gum specialist) to make sure adequate healing has occurred. If so, maintenance visits will be scheduled. If not, corrective minor gum surgery may be recommended. For very severe gum disease, extraction of the teeth may be the only solution.
Once Treated, Will Periodontal Disease Come Back?
Once someone has gum disease, they are always prone to it. Motivation and determination are required to maintain frequent visits to keep bacterial level under control. Sometimes deposits below the gums can build back up requiring deep cleaning from time to time. Also, a special prescription mouth rinse may be prescribed to be used at home. This is what is required in some cases to save the teeth.
Is Periodontal Treatment Painful?
Periodontal treatment is not painful because the topical and local anesthetics work very well. After the anesthetic wears off, there is sometimes tooth sensitivity and increased gum inflammation for a few days to a few weeks. This is temporary and soon the teeth and gums will feel much healthier. Also as a result of healing there can be significant recession of the gum tissue. This is because when gum tissue is inflamed it swells up and appears much taller. As it heals and inflammation subsides, it shrinks down. This can lead to more visibility of the root surfaces of the teeth. Although aesthetically unpleasing, it is a much healthier state. If enough recession occurs so that someone is very unhappy with the looks of the teeth, certain treatment options can be discussed to improve it.
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We can help restore your oral health. Contact our Lake Worth dental office today!