What is Periodontal Disease and what do I do?
Periodontal disease (Gum Disease) is a disease that affects many individuals. Many people go years without knowing that they are at risk for developing periodontal disease and have no understanding of how to manage it. As more than just another Dental office in Santa Clarita, White Crown Dental, we don’t just diagnose it, we explain how it works and give you an informed understanding of the condition and its treatment. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it may lead to complications such as loose teeth, abscesses, infections, and eventual extraction (tooth removal). So what can you expect when checking and treating periodontal disease?
While services you receive may vary, you can expect:
The doctor will begin by measuring Probing Depths (Pockets in the Gum) and completing a Comprehensive Gum Assessment. Periodontal treatments depend on the type of gum disease and how severe it is. If the disease is caught early (gingivitis), and no damage has been done to the underlying bone that supports the teeth, you may just need a regular professional cleaning.
For those patients affected with more severe periodontal disease, the first step of treating the disease involves performing a series of treatments called Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing). This involves removing all the build-up underneath the gum and allowing the tissues to create healthy new attachments to the teeth. Depending on the severity of the condition, the doctor may provide medications or supplemental methods to help control the infection and expedite the healing. Though for each patient treatment may vary, this can include antibiotic prescription, medicated mouth rinse, medication delivered directly to the gum pocket, and/or laser treatment for the gum tissues.
It is very important to schedule follow up visits after the deep cleaning treatment is completed. Our team will schedule a 1-month follow up appointment to check the condition of the gum pockets and check to make sure the treatment worked. If the condition improves, the doctor will assess your specific situation and schedule you for Periodontal Maintenance (Follow-up Cleaning). As a Dental Office in Santa Clarita we take the initiative to make sure you are scheduled to prevent relapse of the disease. It is very important to follow up for both the 1-month reevaluation and the periodontal maintenance. This ensures that we are managing the disease and preventing further damage that may occur without proper maintenance.
What to keep in mind:
There is a possibility that the disease will not improve because there was severe damage to the bone and a deep cleaning was not able to stop the progression. If the bone damage by periodontal disease is extensive, additional surgery may be needed to rebuild or reshape bone. These situations may require a specialist called a Periodontist to perform gum or bone surgery to prevent further damage.