How can I treat periodontitis?
Treatment for periodontitis usually involves a combination of approaches: Professional dental cleaning, scaling and root planing (a cleaning that removes plaque and tartar below the deep gum pockets), antibiotic treatment and other therapies such as laser therapy or soft tissue grafting.
Dental hygiene can help remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum pockets, reducing inflammation and improving gum health.
Scaling and root planing are usually performed under local anaesthetic to remove deposits of plaque and tartar that have built up firmly below the gum pockets.
Antibiotics may also be used to eliminate bacteria in the mouth, and laser therapy can stimulate bone growth. Soft tissue grafts can be used to replace tissue that has been lost due to periodontal disease.
During the course of treatment, it is also necessary to decide which teeth cannot be saved. For example, if the bone around a tooth is already so badly damaged that it can no longer provide adequate support, the tooth must be extracted.
In the case of advanced periodontitis, surgery may be necessary to save the affected teeth and gums.
What does the treatment process look like?
The treatment of periodontitis starts with education about proper dental care. Patients are shown how important good oral hygiene is to prevent gingivitis. The dental experts teach the correct toothbrushing techniques, the best way to use toothbrushes and dental floss, and other tools such as interdental brushes.
Then, in a professional dental cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed above and below the gum pockets. This is often followed by root planning. This involves using a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from under the gums, and a plane to smooth rough areas on the roots of the teeth and root surfaces. In some cases, antibiotics are also prescribed to fight the bacteria in the mouth.
The next step is often laser therapy or soft tissue grafting, depending on the damage to the teeth and gums. Laser therapy focuses light energy on the problem areas to stimulate bone growth and reduce inflammation, while soft tissue grafts can replace lost gum tissue.
After treatment, Supportive Periodontal Therapy is used to ensure long-term treatment success. During this therapy, the periodontium is continuously monitored and plaque is removed again if necessary.