Periodontal Disease

Researchers have established that periodontal disease are actually sub-gingival (under the gums) bacterial infections that break down the supporting structures and bone around the teeth.  The particular type of disease depends on what types of bacteria are involved and how the natural immune system of your body responds to the bacterial infection.

Because periodontal disease progresses very slowly and usually without pain, it often escapes early notice.  Some symptoms that you may notice as the disease progresses are:

    Bleeding gums
    Unpleasant mouth odors
    Loose teeth


Facts About Gum Disease:

Periodontal disease causes 70% of all adult tooth loss (30% is due to tooth decay).  Nearly 90% of people over 30 have some form of periodontal disease.
What Are The Treatments?

The prevailing approach to treatment in the dental profession is surgery.  The concept behind periodontal surgery is shortsighted.  The pocket depths are surgically eliminated.  This treats the symptoms not the cause.  There has never been a study that supports long term results of surgery over non-surgical periodontal treatment.  Often times surgery must be repeated in 5 to 10 years.

Conservative, non-surgical periodontal treatment is designed at excluding the bacteria and eliminating pocket depths both physically and chemically which inhibits its progressive nature.

Microscopic slides are taken continuously monitor the bacteria (the cause) through out treatment.  This is an important diagnostic tool in treating periodontal disease.

Risk factors to consider before non-surgical treatment begins:

    Tobacco use
    Systemic diseases (diabetes)
    Clenching and grinding

Your prescribed treatment may vary according to the severity of the disease.  After all necessary x-rays are taken, a comprehensive examination and evaluation determines a customized treatment plan for you. 

The usual steps for gum treatment are as follows:

  •     Complete periodontal probing, charting and microscopic slide.
  •     Oral hygiene instructions customized to individual needs
  •     Initial debridement
  •     Two to six appointments for root planning and periodontal scaling to detoxify the roots.
  •     Sub-gingival irrigation.  This techniques flushes out the bacteria below the gums with a strong antibacterial agent
  •     Re-evaluation of periodontal condition
  •     Microscopic slide as needed
  •     Fine scale, stain removal and coronal polish
  •     Determine a periodontal maintenance schedule
  •     Possible referral to a specialist

Optimal tissue resolution occurs when the appointments are spaced 7 to 10 days apart over a one to three month period.  A team effort is required in order to treat your gum disease effectively.