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Periodontal Treatments in San Francisco

The term “periodontics” refers to the dental specialty that pertains to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jaw bone. The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jaw bone anchors teeth firmly in place. Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that affects the gums and the underlying bone structure and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adult living in industrialized and developed countries! 

What is Periodontal disease and Reasons for periodontal treatment

Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which begins with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and should be taken very seriously. 

Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms. Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation and infection to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth! Eventually, this infection will cause the jaw bone to recede and the tooth to become loose. 

If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage to the underlying bone structure has been done, several regular cleanings will be recommended in the course of a calendar year. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.

In the case of mild periodontal problems, the focus will be on curing the underlying bacterial infection and then providing advice on the most appropriate home cleaning methods. 

Where periodontal disease is advanced and the jaw bone has regressed, more intensive cleaning may be recommended to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth and tissuesThis procedure will remove mechanical irritants to the gums and supporting bone and also removes a major reservoir of periodontal bacteria which helps the gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. In areas with significant regression of the bone, placement of localized antibiotics may be recommended (Arestin® ). In addition to deep cleaning, the use of localized antibiotics therapy has proven successful in maintaining the condition for many patients.    

In an effort to assist our patients with improved chances to succeed in treating this condition, we also offer Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy (LAPT) to manage the condition. After removing the tartar and calculus, the laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around your teeth. At the same time the laser will kill the bacteria that cause your gum disease and promote healing of your gums around your teeth. In some cases the lasers can help increase circulation and collagen formation at the bottom of your periodontal pockets and help revive or rejuvenate your attachment. This specialized treatment is usually performed multiple times over a period of a few weeks.

Lasers have been in use in medicine and dentistry in may years. The FDA has approved the use of lasers for many dental procedures including periodontal therapy. 

If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).

Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build up to halt the spread of the infection. Your dentist will be happy to advise you on effective cleaning methods and treatment options.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any additional questions about periodontal disease, please contact Papillon Dental Arts at their San Francisco dental practice today!