What Can A Periodontist Do For Advanced Gum Disease?

Dentist Blog

Mild gum disease is usually fairly easy to treat at home. You start brushing your teeth more often, and perhaps you use an antibacterial mouthwash for a few weeks. When your gum disease progresses past this early stage, however, you generally need to pursue professional treatment. Your general dentist may refer you to a periodontist, who is a dentist who specializes in issues affecting the gums and ligaments of the mouth. Here are some of the most common treatments periodontists provide for advanced gum disease. 

Root Scaling and Planing

If you have serious gum disease but your teeth are not loose, then you may just need an intensive cleaning procedure known as scaling and planing. This procedure cleans the parts of your teeth just beneath the gumline where bacteria tend to hang out and fester. You'll be given a local anesthetic before the cleaning begins. This will numb the teeth and gums so you don't feel a thing as your periodontist works. They'll use scraping tools to clean the surface of the teeth. Sometimes, they will also use a laser to kill any lingering bacteria in the area.

Your mouth will likely be sore for a few days after root planing, but it should clear up your gum disease as long as you stick to a good brushing, flossing, and mouthwash routine afterward.

Pocket Surgery

Later on in the progression of gum disease, some patients develop pockets in the gums. These pockets between the teeth and gums are the perfect place for food particles and bacteria to accumulate. Once pockets form, it's really hard to get rid of gum disease without the dentist surgically removing the pockets. So, this is what your periodontist will likely do. They'll remove the excess gum tissue, suture the pocket closed, and give you time to heal.

This procedure is done with local anesthesia, so you won't feel a thing. However, you should be able to drive yourself home from your visit since you'll be awake and aware the whole time. Most patients need to stick to soft food for a couple of weeks after pocket surgery.

If your gum disease is not clearing up with improved oral hygiene, it may be time for some specialized care from a periodontist. Start by seeing your general dentist for a checkup. If needed, they will refer you to a periodontist in your area for gum disease treatment.


14 October 2022

Fluoride: Why I Drink Tap Water

When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.