Periodontal Treatment Options
In very broad-brush categories, most periodontal treatments count as either a gingivectomy or a gingivoplasty. The former has to do with the removal infected gum tissue, while the latter involves the reshaping of gum tissue around teeth and underlying bone tissue.
But there are many specific gum disease treatment options, some of which don’t fit into the gingivectomy-gingivoplasty dichotomy. We’ll look at some of the most common ones below.
Root Scaling & Planing
The first step in treating periodontitis is usually root scaling and planing, which is considered a non-surgical approach. In scaling and planing, your periodontist uses specialized hand tools to carefully scrape plaque off of exposed tooth roots.
The “planing” part is where any rough spots on your roots are smoothed out to eliminate a likely bacterial congregation point.
Gum Flap Surgery
If scaling and planing didn’t solve the problem 100%, or if gum tissue is not fitly correctly around teeth, it can lead to deep bacterial pockets forming and festering below your gum line.
Gum flap or pocket reduction surgery can correct that. The gum tissue may need to be folded back or reshaped around your tooth roots. Some tissue may have to be removed as well.
Gum grafts may also have to be used to cover exposed roots after excessive gum line recession. Sutures will hold the grafts in place, and they will heal, attach to teeth/bone, and promote additional gum tissue growth in the placement area.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
Laser periodontal treatment is often used in the most severe cases of gum disease. And it’s the most advanced form of treatment available today, offering numerous important benefits.
The laser tool used by your periodontist literally (and painlessly) burns up infected gum tissue and kills off harmful bacteria like no other treatment method can.
Plus, little to no healthy tissue is lost during laser surgery, which isn’t necessarily the case with other options.
The laser also prepares the tooth root surfaces so your gum tissue will better cling to them. And it stimulates growth of new gum tissue as well.
Finally, you can get laser periodontal therapy done in a single sitting, and not lose any more than one day of work (if that.) There is little to no bleeding, pain, or inflammation. And the risk of re-infection of your gums following surgery is much lower than with more traditional techniques.
Post-op Care & Maintenance
Your periodontist will instruct you on how to care for your gums and teeth during the post-op healing process. You may need to avoid eating/drinking certain foods for a while, not brush or floss the affected area for a time, and take an antibiotic or pain reliever.
Post-op healing time can vary from days to months. But once your gums have fully healed, you’ll need to keep up excellent oral hygiene to maintain the results.
To learn more about periodontal disease and its treatments, contact Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, today!