Periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease, is one of the most common oral and overall health issues that affects US adults. In fact, studies show that more than 50% of patients over the age of 30 experience some level of periodontal disease, whether it’s the mild form (gingivitis) or the more advanced form (periodontitis). Additionally, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among patients over the age of 35. That’s why at Polished General Dentistry, we include periodontal charting as part of every six-month dental exam. Bleeding in your gums is a sign of an unhealthy mouth, and you may need periodontal disease treatment in our Carlsbad, CA dental office to renew your oral health.
Gingivitis can often be reversed with a special gingivitis cleaning and laser therapy and an improved oral hygiene routine, but if you are already dealing with periodontitis, a much more thorough cleaning will be required. Scaling and root planing are both part of deep cleaning. Scaling is the process of removing harmful bacteria from around and below the gum line while root planing aids the healing process (and prevents future infections) by smoothing out the roots of the teeth.
Soft tissue lasers allow us to remove infected gum tissue without the use of metal instruments. Since the laser is so precise, it is typically much easier to home in on the areas where the infection is actually present and aim only for the tissue that is actually diseased. Lasers have transformed the way periodontal therapy is performed, so now the entire treatment is much more straightforward, painless, and results in a shorter period of healing.
For antibiotic therapy, we’ll first perform a diagnostic test with OralDNA. This will tell us where bacteria levels are most concentrated. Then, based on what we find, we will place Arestin antibiotics in the periodontal pockets where treatment is needed the most. Once the Arestin microspheres are in place, it will gradually release medication so as to fight the bacteria over a prolonged period of time. Antibiotic therapy is usually performed in conjunction with scaling and root planing.
Gum disease isn’t a condition that goes away after a single treatment. You’ll have to return to our dental office more frequently for periodontal maintenance. In the meantime, Perio Protect gives you a minimally invasive way to treat gum disease at home, and it’s Holistic. The treatment involves personalized oral appliances that are filled with medication. By wearing these appliances for a set amount of time each day, you can deliver the medication to the gums in order to keep bacteria levels under control. The formula for the prescriptive medicine delivered in your custom Perio Protect tray is also proven to lower your risk for cavities.
In many cases, periodontal disease goes undiagnosed. We encourage patients to contact our team to find out more or schedule an appointment if you experience any of the following warning signs of gum disease:
If we diagnose patients with gum disease, Dr. Shelton offers a variety of periodontal therapies to renew oral health and prevent any additional damage. During the earliest form (gingivitis), we may be able to undo any damage with more frequent professional teeth cleanings and improved at-home dental hygiene. As gingivitis progresses into the more severe periodontitis, we may need to provide more advanced treatments such as scaling and root planing. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged tissues, while root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent further buildup. We may also incorporate the use of topical antibiotics to prevent the recurrence of gum disease.
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