Periodontal Treatments

Periodontal Treatments

It's estimated that more than half of U.S. adults have gingivitis. Gingivitis, in some cases, can lead to periodontitis (gum disease) and host of other health problems.

Gum disease can cause bleeding, swelling, bad breath, pain, receding gums and tooth loss. But it doesn't always stop there. You oral health is the beginning point for your whole body's health and wellness. It is imperative that we stop problems before they even start!

Gum disease causes a buildup of bacteria in deep pockets between the teeth and gums. That bacteria can transfer to your bloodstream when gums bleed, putting you at a much higher risk to develop the following health problems:

  • Stroke
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Pre-Term Births

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the untreated and advanced stages of gingivitis. Plague can grow and spread over time below the gum line, toxins produced by the bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums. The toxins then stimulate a response where the body’s inflammatory system attacks itself, then the tissues and bone that support the teeth are progressively broken down and destroyed. There are several forms of periodontitis including:

  • Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
  • Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
  • Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.

Treatment

Periodontal treatment typically involves containing the infection through deep cleaning like scaling and root planing, clearing buildup at the root of the teeth.

Scaling and root planing is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces with a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. Both electric and manual scaling methods can be combined to achieve the best results.

The dentist may also suggest specific toothpastes and mouth rinses. We may also prescribe antibiotics to fight infections. Surgery is required for the most severe cases.

Maintenance

For those who experience repeated infection to the gums due to enlarged pockets or other periodontal problems, Dr. Pawlus provides periodontal maintenance. Under this program, patients are usually scheduled for cleanings every three months. This is important because the severity of damage caused by infection increases exponentially as it progresses, meaning that the majority of damage can be avoided simply by increasing appointments.

We examine you for gum health at every 6-month check-up. If you have been experiencing any symptoms like bad breath, bleeding or tender gums, please let us know. We will decide what is the best form of treatment to restore your gums to optimum health.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a new dental advancement where laser technology is used to treat a number of dental treatments, including biopsies, periodontal treatment and pain therapy. The lasers we use at our practice are an alternative to the common, hand-held scalpel, drills, and other tools. These lasers direct an invisible energy beam onto problem areas and allow us to effectively treat decayed teeth, enamel, and gums. This treatment has a dramatically reduced healing period since there is no physical cutting of gum tissue and is therefore very beneficial to the patients. Clinical studies show that approximately 96% of all patients require no anesthesia when lasers are being used during dental treatments. Dental lasers have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are safe for both adults and children.