Periodontal disease is a term describing infection of the tissues which surround a tooth. There are two types of periodontal disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Gingivitis occurs when plaque (food debris and bacteria) is allowed to build up around the neck of the tooth and create a sticky layer which causes a gum infection. If you look in your mouth you will see redness, swelling and bleeding of the gum around your tooth.
Periodontitis occurs in susceptible patients when a long-term gum infection is not treated. Infection and resultant inflammation lead to the loss of ligaments and bone around the root of your tooth.
Factors which significantly increase the risk of developing periodontitis include:
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Medications (certain anti-seizure, blood pressure, and immunosuppressant medications)
To minimize your risk of future periodontal disease, you must be mindful of the risk factors stated above. Gingivitis is usually well managed by adopting excellent oral hygiene practices. Periodontitis is more difficult to manage.
Protocols recommended by your dentist may include:
Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
- Root cleaning (scaling and root planning) at the appropriate intervals to manage your risk for bone loss
- Antibacterial mouth rinses
- Oral antibiotics
- Customized home care instruction
- Smoking cessation counseling
- Surgical Periodontal Therapy
- Recontouring of gum and bone around affected teeth to allow better
access for professional root cleaning and daily home care
Surgical Periodontal Therapy
- Surgical Periodontal Therapy is the re-contouring of gum tissue and bone to decrease the risk of further periodontal disease. Surgical procedures are designed to either remove diseased gum tissue and bone for better cleaning access or to build missing tissue back to a healthier state.
- Periodontal therapy to build back missing gum tissue and bone and often requires donor tissue. This tissue is usually obtained from another area of the person’s body, most often the palate or “roof” of their mouth. It can also be obtained from another donor person or animal where the tissues have been sterilized for safety and use.
Note: If a patient requires surgical therapy intervention, but chooses a non-surgical option, they need to understand that inappropriate periodontal therapies do not manage the disease properly and recognize the risk of further periodontal infection with tissue, bone and ultimately tooth loss.