26 Jan Understanding Active Therapy for Gum Disease
Periodontal disease—or gum disease—is a serious health problem that poses risks to your teeth and gums as well as your whole body. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infections, and even heart disease. It can also exacerbate existing conditions, like diabetes. If you have gum disease, your dentist is likely to recommend active therapy to fight it. Here is what to expect.
Before active therapy begins, your dentist will plan your treatment. During this process, he or she will take radiographs and perform a clinical exam with periodontal charting. After considering the best treatment plan, your dentist will review the results of your exam with you and explain your options. Together, you will determine how best to proceed with reversing your gum disease and then move on to the active therapy part of the process.
Active therapy for gum disease usually involves a treatment called scaling and root planing. This procedure allows your dentist to clean bacteria and plaque calcifications from under your gums, around where your gums and teeth meet. Your mouth will be anesthetized in sections, and hand instruments and ultrasonic tools are used to clean each area. This process helps to reduce inflammation and reverse infection. Depending on your case and your preferences, your dentist may recommend scaling and planing for your entire mouth at once, or the therapy may be performed in multiple visits.
Scaling and planing will reduce inflammation and infection, but ongoing care is essential to prevent gum disease from returning. After scaling and planing, your dentist may recommend a powder antibiotic called Arestin that can be placed in the periodontal pockets to further treat the infection. You may also require more frequent dental check-ups and cleanings.
Don’t let gum disease compromise your health. At John R. Carson, DDS, we offer patient-focused gum disease treatment and a comprehensive range of dental care. Make an appointment with our Tucson dentist by calling (520) 514-7203.