Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate your stage of periodontal disease, present you with all the necessary information and recommend the appropriate treatment.
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time, while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and help the healing process.
If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be required to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a Periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone). Some treatment options that may be employed include:
- Laser treatment – This can be used to reduce the size of the pockets between the teeth and the gums.
- Tissue & bone grafting – Where a considerable amount of bone or gum tissue has been destroyed, the dentist may elect to graft new tissue by inserting a membrane to stimulate tissue growth.
Pocket elimination surgery – The dentist may choose to perform “flap surgery” to directly reduce the size of the gum pockets.