Treating Gum Disease

For patients with Periodontitis who put off going to get help, we have to try to “cure” gum disease.  As you all know by now, prevention of gum disease is achievable and definitely cheaper and more sensible than “treating gum disease”.  But for those who come to see us with bleeding gums, loose teeth, receding gums or infection we have a simple non-surgical approach that with the patient’s co-operation and commitment, can result in the cure of this destructive disease called Periodontitis.

The first stage is to make sure the patient has all possible information available to assist them in understanding their condition and making a commitment to changing what they do at home to get on top of the damaging gum disease.  This is often referred to as the education stage of treatment and must come first before mechanical treatment begins.

Once the first stage of our approach involving information/education has started, we begin to remove the cause of the disease.  In our first article, we mentioned plaque or biofilm that is a source of bacterial infection and sets off inflammation of the gums that in time may destroy bone around the teeth.

Our hygienist will then begin the meticulous task of cleaning the teeth and more importantly cleaning the roots of the teeth beneath the gum margins with a high frequency vibrating smooth tip called a Piezoscaler operating at high frequency.  This causes disruption of both the soft dental plaque and the under-lying hard deposits of calculus (also called tartar).

Once the roots are clean, the patient takes over control of the situation and must clean under the gum on a daily basis following the detailed instructions they have received from my hygienist.  Considerable emphasis will have been placed on the correct cleaning technique at home and the hygienist will not just demonstrate the technique on a model but will do so in the patient’s mouth and get the patient to do it until they master the technique.

With clean root surfaces, clean pockets beneath the gum margins and good home cleaning repeated every day, the gum inflammation begins to resolve and the health of the gums starts to improve.  This phase of treatment is entirely dependent on the patient’s commitment and their putting in the necessary time to do what they have been taught in stage 1.  We normally wait 6-8 weeks to give the mouth time to get better.

After 6-8 weeks of continued patient home care, we see them again and now conduct a detailed examination to identify any sites where the inflammation has not resolved and of course we check to make sure the home cleaning is up to standard.

In the next article we will look at what we do next for the patient who continues to shows signs of active disease.

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

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