Periodontitis is a critical infection of the gums, which is caused by the accumulated bacteria on your teeth and gums. With the progress of periodontitis, a patient’s bones and teeth are likely to be damaged. However, the damage can be taken care of if periodontitis is treated at an early stage, and proper oral hygiene is maintained. The periodontal examination includes evaluation of both soft and hard supporting tissues of the dentition. Soft tissue assessment is expected to identify the thickness of the fibrous connective tissue, the amount of attached keratinized tissue, and the symmetry of gingival scallop. The tissue biotypes are categorized based on the depth of supporting bone and gingival soft tissues. The thick and fibrous tissue is more forgiving, effortlessly manipulated, and also provides a predictable aesthetic outcome, as compared to thin fabric, which is more likely to compress.
To determine the disease and its severity, the dentist needs to review your medical history to determine whether any factors such as smoking or taking certain medications stimulate it. The dental professional is also trained to examine your mouth and measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth through a dental probe. In a healthy mouth, the pocket depth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters (mm). If the pockets are deeper than 4 mm, it may indicate periodontitis. And if pockets deeper than 6 mm, cannot be adequately cleaned.
Different Types of Periodontal Treatment
Periodontitis treatment aims to clean the pockets around teeth thoroughly and prevent the damage in the surrounding bone. This treatment is performed by a periodontist, a dentist, or a dental hygienist. Most importantly, to achieve a successful result, one needs to adopt a daily routine of good oral care and avoid tobacco. Depending on the severity, there are both nonsurgical and surgical treatments to deal with periodontitis. Surgery is typically very successful. The nonsurgical treatments are done if periodontitis isn’t advanced much.
There are mostly less invasive procedures which include:
- Scaling: It is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to eradicate plaque and calculus/tartar from deep periodontal pockets by using instruments, a laser, or an ultrasonic device.
- Root planning: It polishes the root surface, discouraging the further build-up of tartar and bacterial toxins and by-products that restricts healing or reattachment of the gum to the tooth surfaces.
- Antibiotics: It helps to control bacterial infection. Topical antibiotics are inserted in the space between your teeth and gums or into pockets once deep cleaning is done. But oral antibiotics are essential to obliterate the infection-causing bacteria.
The surgical treatments are done when there are severe infections. Dental surgery is the only way out if a patient has advanced periodontitis. This includes;
- Flap surgery: It is also known as pocket reduction surgery. Here, the dentist makes tiny incisions in the gum, exhibiting the roots for more striking scaling and root planing. As periodontitis often causes bone loss, it needs the bone to be recontoured before the gum tissue is settled back in place. It is easier to clean the infected areas and maintain healthy gum tissue once healed.
- Soft tissue grafts: During the treatment, one may need to have some of the impaired soft tissue reinforced, where soft tissue graft helps. It is done by removing a small amount of tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth or another donor source and fix it to the affected site. This helps in decreasing further gum recession, and covers exposed roots and equip with a better appearance.
- Bone grafting: Periodontitis usually destroys the bone around the tooth root. The graft, which is made up of small fragments of the patient’s bone, or the bone may be synthetic or donated, can cater to the issue. The bone graft helps protect a tooth by holding it in place. It also assists in regrowth of natural bone.
- Guided tissue regeneration: This process helps in regrowth of impaired. An individual piece of biocompatible fabric is used here, which prevents unwanted tissue from coming in contact with the healing area and allows the bone to grow.
- Tissue-stimulating proteins: This technique involves the application of a special gel to a diseased tooth root, which contains proteins to stimulate the growth of healthy bone and tissue.
It can be summarized that periodontitis treatment aims at removing plaque and bacterial deposits on a patient’s teeth and gums, and the treatment process is planned based on the extent of infections. Periodontitis can be cured if caught and treated early enough. If you are diagnosed with periodontitis, you need to do regular follow-ups with a dentist to ensure that the disease doesn’t continue further. In addition to it, one needs to change the dental hygiene habits and go according to the dentist’s instructions for a positive and long-term outcome. Periodontists or dentistry experts who treat periodontal disease need to be adequately trained and skilled. They must have three additional years of specialized training in periodontal disease treatment in both nonsurgical treatments and periodontal plastic surgery procedures. And to our credit, we hold a dedicated team of experts to deal with this.
At Dr. Mohamed Ali’s office, San Francisco, he will thoroughly assess your mouth before recommending surgical or non-surgical treatment options to you. The billing experts will inspect your insurance benefits and will offer you a complete treatment plan with all the necessary arrangements. Every major dental and medical PPO insurance plans are accepted, including Medicare. There is also an in-office Plan for Health for those who don’t have any insurance. Also, we have partnered with various financial institutions like The Lending Club, Care Credit, Healthcare Finance Solutions, to make your treatment extremely affordable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. So sit, relax, and do not worry about your dental health. Call us today to schedule your consultation. You can reach us at 415.391.7751.