People who were unfortunate enough to develop gum disease (known as pyorrhea) in the beginning of the 20th century would end up losing their teeth at an early age. This led to the development of a surgical treatment for the gum disease but it did not stem the disease. In the early 1980s, scientists figured out the cause of gum disease to be bacterial infection. This led to the development of nonsurgical therapy for treatment of gum disease.
There have been recent reports in newspapers and periodicals that indicate a co-relation between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart attack, stroke, stomach ulcers, low birth weight infants and preterm births. Around 65% of the adult population in the country has some kind of periodontal disease. One of the biggest reasons for this disease is buildup of disease causing bacteria in the plaque under the gum line.
Here is how we approach nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease.
When you visit us for nonsurgical gum treatment, the complete treatment program involves 2 types of appointment including an active therapy appointment followed by a revaluation appointment. During the active therapy appointment, we will measure the gums in order to ascertain the stage of the disease followed by root planing and scaling of the teeth for healing. We will also irrigate the teeth to get rid of unwanted bacteria. In the end, you will also get home care instructions to restore and maintain your oral health.
The revaluation appointment is typically scheduled after about a month of the final appointment for active therapy. In this appointment, we will check for the improvements you have made and we will also carefully check for remaining problem areas. During this appointment, we will also discuss the best possible options for you to maintain your periodontal health.
In the nonsurgical therapy, the calculus and plaque is removed by arresting the growth of disease-causing bacteria and by ensuring that conditions encouraging gum disease are properly treated. You might only need nonsurgical treatment, especially if the periodontal disease is discovered early. In certain cases, particular procedures may be required such as the replacement of crowns or worn fillings as plaque can accumulate in the overhanging margins. These procedures will need to be performed before beginning the periodontal therapy.
Root Planing and Scaling
Scaling refers to the cleaning technique where the calculus and plaque are removed from the teeth at or even a bit below the gum line.
Root planing referse to smoothening of root surfaces. This is done to allow the supportive tissues to reattach to the tooth surface better. Typically, this procedure is performed with local anesthesia to allow you to relax as we work on your gums.
As mentioned in the above paragraphs, it’s a bacterial disease and eliminating or controlling it is essentially done by eliminating or reducing the disease-causing bacteria. We may also prescribe an alternative to scaling and root planing in the form of a pill or in the form of an antibiotic powder that is directly applied to the gum pocket. We may also prescribe an anti-bacterial mouth rinse to reduce and control bacterial plaque.
The bone attached to the affected teeth may suffer damage due to a traumatic occlusion or an improper bite. We offer a number of options in such cases including adjusting your bites to ensure proper functioning of your teeth. We might also recommend a custom bite guard or a splint for better protection of your teeth surfaces and for relaxing the tense jaw muscles. Splint refers to a removable device that is fitted over the upper and lower teeth.