Periodontal disease is becoming a growing problem in the United States. It is a gum disease that affects the teeth, bone as well as surrounding tissues in the mouth. Recently, the disease has proven to have a systematic effect on the body. Periodontal maintenance is therefore not only a cosmetic matter but an overall health issue.
It begins with oral complications that start as small tissues which spread due to improper oral hygiene, inconsistent dental treatment as well as side effects from illness and medications. Preventing it requires thorough oral care at home at least twice a day, getting professional cleanings at least twice a year and getting restorations to your teeth as recommended by a dentist.
During periodontal maintenance, you should look for the least invasive and most cost-effective treatment. During the early stages of the disease, root planing and scaling will the best non-surgical treatments to curb the disease. The dentist will remove the plaque and the calculus from the surface of the root, smoothen the root surface and then remove all bacterial toxins. This procedure can be done mechanically using a scraping tool which might feel a little uncomfortable. To reduce the discomfort, the dentist may numb the gums using a local anesthetic.
Root planing and scaling during periodontal maintenance can be done using an ultrasonic tool. In this procedure, a high-speed wand is used to break up and remove the plaque. You won’t feel very uncomfortable when this method is used but it is not effective on all plaque. For effective results, a combination of a scraping and an ultrasonic tool should be used For patients that have a high risk of infection, antibiotics can be prescribed before and after the procedure.
If the periodontal disease has reached severe stages whereby the gums have become loose and receding, periodontal maintenance that involves surgical treatment will be required. One of the surgical procedures that can be used in such cases is called gingivectomy and it is use get rid of pockets that are found between teeth and gums. This procedure removes portions of the gum that are lose or have grown over a tooth. It is done using laser, which can also be effective for root planing and scaling. You will experience less discomfort, less bleeding and less swelling when lasers are used for periodontal maintenance.
Another surgical treatment that can be used for treating periodontal disease in is severe stages is flap surgery. In this procedure, gums will be cut away from the root of the affected tooth, flapped back, and then the root will be cleaned and treated with tropical antibiotics. After that, the gums will be stitched back. A local anesthetic is usually used to reduce discomfort in this procedure.
Bone and tissue grafting can also be used together with flap surgery to treat severe cases of periodontal disease. In this periodontal maintenance procedure, synthetic or natural bone is grafted to the root. Soft tissue from the roof of the mouth or any other area of gum can also be grafted to the receded tissue. This procedure is used when bone and soft tissue have begun to erode.
Periodontal maintenance requires regular cleaning and visits to dentists. It is imperative to arrest the progress of the disease immediately its signs begin to show.
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