Treating Periodontal Disease

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Antibiotics or irrigation with antimicrobials (agents or mouthrinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of subgingival bacteria which create toxins and cause periodontitis. Surgery may be required when deeper pockets (over 4 to 5 mm) are found. It is difficult for the dentist or hygienist to thoroughly remove plaque and calculus from deep pockets. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep them clean and free of plaque. Allowing pockets to remain may invite infection and bone destruction.

When pockets are deep and bone has been destroyed, flap surgery may be necessary to allow the dentist to get access to the roots of the teeth in order to thoroughly remove calculus, plaque and any diseased tissue. In this technique, the gum is lifted away and is then sutured back into place or into a new position that will be easier to keep clean. Osseous (bone) surgery sometimes accompanies flap surgery. In osseous surgery, some of the bone around the tooth is reshaped. In certain cases, a bone graft. may be employed to replace lost bo_ne. Splints or other appliances may be used to stabilize loose teeth temporarily and may be necessary after completion of periodontal therapy as well. Other effective procedures are also available for replacing gum tissue and bone destroyed in advanced stages of the disease. These procedures are used for specific periodontal problems. Talk with your dentist about the treatments that may be right for you. Maintenance In any treatment plan for periodontal diseases, your dentist will emphasize the importance of removing plaque by daily brushing and cleaning between the teeth. Good oral hygiene is essential to help keep periodontal diseases from becoming more serious or recurring. In addition, your dentist will want to see you at regular intervals following a period of active therapy to assure that you are maintaining a satisfactory level of oral hygiene to remove any plaque or calculus that may have accumulated and to check your mouth to be sure that your periodontal disease remains under control. You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal diseases. Remember -brush, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet and see your dentist regularly. They are your teeth and in most cases you can decide to keep them for a lifetime.