What is periodontitis and when do I need periodontal treatment?

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that destroys the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth. Periodontal treatment is needed when gum disease has advanced past gingivitis. A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association stated that chronic periodontitis affects 47% of adults over 30 in the United States.

Gum disease is caused by a layer of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth, and if teeth are not cleaned well and flossed regularly, the bacteria in plaque will cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called “pockets.” Plaque gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.

In order to treat gum inflammation or periodontitis, our dentists at Hibiscus Dental perform a procedure called periodontal dental scaling and root planing. This procedure is effective in cleaning infected root surfaces. Scaling will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help your gums return to a healthy state. During the teeth scaling process, specialized tools are used to remove the hardened deposits of plaque buildup (tartar) from the teeth both above and below the gum line. The scaling process is usually done in conjunction with a procedure known as root planing. Root planing involves smoothing rough spots on the roots of the teeth that can promote gum disease by trapping and holding bacteria.

Periodontal Treatment After Care

After a deep cleaning, your gums may also be a bit swollen, feel tender and have some light bleeding for a few days. We will give you individualized at-home care tips to follow for faster healing and schedule a follow-up visit to check on you. Once the gums have healed we will re-measure the depth of your pockets and make any additional recommendations. Ongoing good dental care at home is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring.