Cavities, Bad Breath and Other Embarrassing Topics

Four Ways That Your Dentist Can Treat Periodontitis

Periodontitis is an infection of the gum tissue that can affect any age group. It's a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss if not treated properly. While it's usually associated with older adults, periodontitis can affect people of all ages.

If you're concerned that you may have periodontitis or another gum disease, talk to your dentist. He or she can provide treatment options to help manage or eliminate the condition. Here are four ways your dentist can help treat periodontitis:

1. Your Dentist Can Perform Scaling And Root Planing 

Periodontitis is caused by bacteria that form in plaque, which is a sticky film of germs that forms on teeth and below the gum line. If you don't remove plaque regularly with good oral hygiene, it can lead to gingivitis (gum inflammation), which can progress to periodontal disease if left untreated.

Scaling removes calculus (tartar) and plaque from tooth surfaces, which helps prevent new deposits of plaque from forming on them. Root planing removes bacterial plaque from under the gum line so it cannot cause damage to the bone and gum tissues supporting your teeth.

2. Your Dentist Can Perform Laser Therapy

If scaling and root planing fail to improve your condition, your dentist may recommend laser therapy as a way to eradicate bacteria in the pockets around your teeth. Laser therapy works by delivering light energy deep into the pocket where it disrupts bacterial cells so that they die off naturally over time.

You may need several appointments over several weeks or months before all of your tooth surfaces have been treated — this depends on how much tartar there is on them and how deep it has attached itself to the roots of each tooth.

3. Your Dentist Can Perform Gum Flap Surgery (Gingivectomy)

In this procedure, your dentist removes part of your gums so they no longer cover your tooth roots — allowing them to heal properly without being covered in the gum tissue. This is usually done when scaling and root planing have not been effective at stopping periodontal disease from progressing further into your mouth.

4. Your Dentist Can Prescribe Antibiotics To Treat Inflammation And Infection

The right antibiotic can help treat inflammation and infection associated with periodontal problems, but not all antibiotics are effective against all bacteria involved in gingivitis or periodontitis. That's why it's important for dentists who specialise in treating periodontal disease to prescribe antibiotics that target specific species of bacteria. 

To ensure that you get the most effective treatment possible for periodontal, contact your dentist today.