So what next………
We have looked at how we manage the Gum Disease patient with educational and mechanical treatment. We have seen that a period of 6-8 weeks of healing is needed to allow the gum inflammation to resolve. So what’s next and what happens at those sites where the inflammation continues to actively attack the bone supporting the teeth.
Inflammation happens for a reason. Simply put, inflammation is the body’s first line of defence. It represents the immune system protecting us from damaging substances like the bacterial products of the dental plaque bacteria. So if there is inflammation then there is a cause. If we want to find the cause we have to look very carefully and 9 times out of 10 we can find the answer in the gum crevice around the tooth, sometimes called the pocket. It’s called “sub-gingival biofilm”.
It is much easier to clean the tooth surface that you can see in the mouth, than it is to clean in the pocket beneath the gum margin. So here, attention to detail is fundamental to successful gum disease treatment. You cannot cut corners with cleaning. You have to do it right.
So what about the sites that still bleed when they are examined in those very difficult sites where access is beyond the patient’s ability to clean effectively. These sites need to be changed in shape and accessibility. This is where in very few patients and only in the odd isolated sites, we have to do a little re-shaping of the gum and the bone beneath. This is surgical gum treatment.
Gum surgery is rarely required and is the last stage of treatment and definitely not the first approach. There is a huge body of dental research over the past 35 plus years that clearly shows non-surgical gum disease treatment is the first approach of choice.
In very occasional sites, we are even able to re-grow some of the tissues lost due to gum disease. This is what we call regenerative surgery and it can be very successful but it depends very much on the choice of site where it is applied.
Once the patient can get into all their pockets and they are carrying out the cleaning EXACTLY as they have been taught, we see the disease stop progressing. They are then considered stable.
However, we are all human and we all cut corners if left to our own devices. It is for this reason that patients need regular re-motivation towards their cleaning and periodic professional cleaning of their root surfaces. This is what we call Maintenance Therapy.
Remember in an earlier article I explained that there is a genetic susceptibility in Gum Disease and therefore if you are a sufferer, you will always be susceptible. It is therefore a life-long commitment to your ritual of cleaning that is going to help you keep your disease stable. Make your hygienist a regular friend and keep your Gum Disease under control.
contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812
For more information: Dental Hygiene Therapy
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
CALL US TODAY
07 4725 1656