Effective oral hygiene can go a long way in protecting smiles from decay and damage. However, some patients may still find themselves facing certain dental conditions. In particular, gum disease is one of the most common oral conditions affecting countless adults across the country.
Treating gum disease is based on the progression of the condition. While easily preventable, gum disease has few noticeable symptoms, allowing it progress without interruption until significant damage has been done to the patient’s smile and overall health. As a result, while patients who are able to identify and treat their case of gum disease during the early stages are often able to prevent escalation, many often seek treatment during the late stages when more extensive treatments are the only option.
Depending on the progression of your gum disease, treatment may include:
Deep cleaning - Also known as root planing and scaling, deep cleanings are effective treatment for mild periodontitis. During the scaling procedure, tartar is scraped from above and below the gum line, preventing bacteria accumulation and plaque buildup. Root planing occurs below the gum line on the tooth root, during which special tools are used to remove rough spots on the roots that may attract bacteria build-up.
Antibiotics – Recommended in cases of mild to advanced periodontitis, antibiotics are used to kill off bacteria, preventing the progression of the condition. Antibiotics can be applied a number of different ways, as either a prescribed mouthwash or as a gel administered below the gum line. At our Puyallup dental office, we prefer antibiotic chips. These are small pieces of gelatin that contain the antibiotic medication and are placed within the periodontal pockets. Over the course of a week, medication is slowly released, killing off bacteria in the pockets and preventing recolonization.
Soft Tissue Grafting – For patients suffering from gum recession as a result of periodontal disease, gum grafting can restore aesthetics to the smile while preventing further recession. During this procedure, donor tissue is taken and placed in areas of recession.
Bone Grafting – More of a restorative treatment rather than an immediate cure, bone grafting is offered when the condition has caused bone deterioration, thereby compromising the stability of the teeth. During this treatment, donor tissue is placed in the deficient area. Over the course of recovery, the tissue is integrated into the bone, ensuring future jaw stability.
At the dental office of Mark T. Ngo, DMD, our mission is to help patients achieve lifelong oral health through improved patient education and comprehensive preventive care. By teaching patients about the symptoms of periodontal disease, our Puyallup dentist is able to help individuals protect their smiles and overall oral health. For more information about preventing and treating periodontal disease, contact Dr. Ngo today.