Last week on the Healthy Smiles blog, we discussed the symptoms and advanced risks of periodontal disease, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and pre-term labor. To further patient education on periodontal disease, this week we will be focusing on prevention and various treatments.
It is possible to have periodontal disease and not have any visible symptoms. This is why it is imperative to have regularly scheduled dental checkups and periodontal exams. In addition, patients are urged to practice good dental habits such as:
- Brush twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush that rotates is better at removing plaque and will make sure you’re brushing for the recommended length of time (2-3 minutes).
- Floss daily. Make sure to curve the floss around each tooth and gently slide it under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and low in fat and sodium.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
If your dentist has discovered symptoms of periodontal disease at your checkup, the different methods for treatment are dependent upon how serious the condition has become. Non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease include scaling and root planing (in-depth cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins). This can be followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials and host modulation as needed.
Sometimes, periodontal surgery is necessary if your dentist determines that the attachment tissues surrounding your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment. Common types of periodontal surgical treatments are pocket reduction procedures, regenerative procedures, clinical crown lengthening, and gum graft surgery.
For patients that have already lost a tooth to periodontal disease, or have an advanced forms of the disease, cosmetic procedures such as crowns and bridges dental implants, gum graft surgery or ridge augmentation are some treatment options. These options can be discussed with your dentist. Contact Dr. Jai Thirumalai and the team of Healthy Smiles of Georgia in Alpharetta today to help get you one step closer to a healthy smile.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.