Periodontal disease must be taken seriously because it can lead to dangerous infections and bone loss if it is not treated. Your dentist can treat periodontal disease by cleaning the area around and below your gums, replacing damaged bone tissue, and providing patient education to prevent recurrences of gum disease. Here are four things you may experience when you visit your dentist for periodontal disease treatment:
1. Your dentist will clean away pockets of bacteria beneath your gums.
Bacteria can collect below the surface of your gums, leading to periodontal disease. Root planing is the recommended treatment for mild to moderate gum disease. This procedure cleans away pockets of bacteria and tartar beneath your gums, and it is similar to the scaling that takes place at your routine dental cleanings.
2. Your dentist may recommend flap surgery.
If your periodontal disease is severe, your dentist may need to clean the roots of your teeth. This can be accomplished using flap surgery, a surgical procedure in which the gums are cut and gently lifted away from the teeth in order to provide access to your teeth roots. This procedure may sound painful, but it is performed with local anesthesia, so the surgery will be painless. Your gums may be tender for a few days after flap surgery, but your dentist can offer pain medication to help you manage any lingering discomfort.
3. Grafting procedures may be indicated.
Advanced periodontal disease can cause infections in patients' jawbones, leading to bone erosion. If you have lost jawbone mass due to gum disease, your dentist may recommend a grafting procedure. Bone grafts can be used to restore areas of missing bone. A bone graft can be made from your own bones or from the bones of a human or animal donor. In some cases, a synthetic bone graft can be used to achieve the desired results.
4. Your dentist will advise you to increase the frequency of your flossing and routine dental care.
Proper gum care starts at home. Your dentist will impress upon you the importance of daily flossing to clean below your gum line. They may demonstrate proper flossing techniques to ensure that your flossing sessions are as effective as possible. Your dentist may also recommend that you increase the frequency of your dental cleanings to prevent your periodontal disease from returning. People at risk of periodontal disease and other health conditions can benefit from seeing their dentist more frequently rather than the typically recommended biannual schedule.