Periodontal disease is a chronic infection which requires ongoing vigilance and meticulous maintenance care in order to control its progression. In order to maintain periodontal stability and optimal oral health, frequent recall maintenance appointments are necessary three, four, and six months. The frequency is based on the severity of periodontal disease, personal home care, and post-treatment periodontal stability. Depending on the severity of the disease, a patient may be treated with non surgical or surgical treatments.
Non Surgical Treatment
Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. This “deep cleaning” is a non-surgical procedure for meticulously removing plaque and hard tartar deposits from around, below and under the gum line down to the bottom of the pocket. In addition, the root surfaces of your teeth are cleaned and smoothed to decontaminate your deep gum pockets so gum tissue can more firmly reattach to clean roots to prevent tooth loss and sensitivity problems. It is a method of treating gum disease when pockets formed around teeth have a measurement of greater than 5mm.
Flap Surgery. Surgery might be necessary if inflammation and deep pockets remain following treatment with deep cleaning and medications. Flap surgery may be performed to remove tartar deposits in deep pockets or to reduce the periodontal pocket and make it easier for the patient, dentist, and hygienist to keep the area clean. This common surgery involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar. The gums are then sutured back in place so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth again. After surgery the gums will heal and fit more tightly around the tooth. This sometimes results in the teeth appearing longer.
Bone and Tissue Grafts. In addition to flap surgery, your dentist may suggest procedures to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue lost to periodontitis. Bone grafting, in which natural or synthetic bone is placed in the area of bone loss, can help promote bone growth. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to regrow.