Gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum disease) are gingival conditions that many people try to prevent by brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental cleanings. When either is not prevented, treatment is needed to bring the gums back to a healthy and maintained status. Periodontal disease can result from progressed gingivitis. The permanent damages from the disease cannot be reversed; although, with therapeutic intervention the tissues can be brought to a state of health and the disease process halted.
Gingivitis is treated by receiving a dental cleaning and keeping a regular recall schedule (6 months or sooner). Most bacteria and their harmful by-products (plaque and tartar) are debrided from the tooth surfaces and slightly under gingival margins.
In-between dental cleanings, home care is the most helpful task to treat gingivitis. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, along with daily flossing will fight against the gingivitis bacteria; allowing the gums to become healthier. A dentist may recommend an OTC fluoride rinse, or toothpaste, or prescription chlorhexidine rinse.
Scaling and root planning is completed to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from teeth and under the gum tissues. The root surfaces are then smoothed (planed) to eliminate a rough surface for bacteria to recolonize. Mouthwashes such as LISTERINE® or prescription chlorhexidine along with optimal home care may be recommended.
After scaling and root planing, more frequent cleanings at periodontal maintenance appointments are essential in keeping the disease inactive. Teeth will be cleaned and periodontal pockets are assessed for healing, improvement, or need for retreating with further scaling and root planning.
Without proper care, periodontal disease may progress to the point where bone is lost and teeth become loose and have to come out. Sometimes periodontal flap surgery is necessary. This would mean numbing the area, laying back the gingiva (gums), cleaning the roots of the teeth, and then suturing the area. In the most severe cases, a patient may need to be referred to a specialist, called a periodontist.
Honeygo Village Dentistry Can Help
The best scenario is to prevent excessive buildup, gingivitis, and periodontal disease; even though, there are treatments for active conditions. Whether it be debridement, more frequent cleanings, scaling and root planing, or the use of dental aids; a healthy and maintained smile can be achieved.