Periodontal Disease Treatment in Scripps Ranch
The health of your gums is critical to your oral and overall health. If the gums develop an infection called periodontal disease, it can slowly destroy the structures that support and hold your teeth in place. This can significantly compromise your oral health and the appearance of your smile. Furthermore, gum disease has also been linked to life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease and stroke. Village Center Dentistry believes it is more important than ever to take good care of your gums.
Dr. Jennifer Santoro and her hygiene team are devoted to helping you avoid gum disease through preventative services. If she determines you have a mild to severe form of gum disease, she offers a complete range of treatment strategies to rehabilitate your gums and reduce your risk of serious health problems.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth. It often stems from inadequate oral hygiene as well as family genetics. Not properly brushing or flossing the teeth allows a sticky film of bacteria called plaque to accumulate on the teeth and harden into tartar. The body’s immune response is to fight the bacteria, which causes inflammation in the gums and swollen, bleeding gums.
As gum disease worsens, it can cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming spaces or “pockets.” These pockets are excellent places for more bacteria to hide. Eventually, gum disease can destroy the structures that support the teeth, including the gum tissue and the bone. In the worst cases of gum disease, the teeth can become loose and fall out or require extraction.
Gum disease is a serious threat not only to oral health but also to overall health. Studies show a correlation between gum disease and other health concerns, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems and premature birth. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to catch gum disease in its early stages, when it can be more easily managed.
Treating Gum Disease
The goal of gum disease treatment is to eliminate existing bacteria and then repair the damage caused by the progression of the disease. In its early stages, gum disease can usually be reversed through more frequent cleanings and/or the use of isolated antibiotic medication. These cleanings should be performed in conjunction with excellent at-home oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing.
More serious cases of gum disease require more involved treatment. Scaling and root planing may be required to clean and smooth the root surfaces of the teeth, making it harder for bacteria to adhere to the tooth roots and irritate the gum tissue. Deep periodontal pockets may require pocket reduction procedures. In advanced cases of gum disease, gum or bone grafting procedures may be needed to rebuild structures supporting the teeth.
What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing or a “Deep Cleaning”
During a deep cleaning, our team will focus on cleaning the area below your gumline. Your teeth may be numbed with either a topical anesthetic called Oraqix or a traditional anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable. Using special instruments, we will remove plaque, calculus and other debris from below your gum line. We will also smooth the roots of your teeth, which will help the gum tissue tighten up to allow it to hug tightly to your teeth. We may administer an antibiotic medication called Arestin as needed.
Book an Exam with Dr. Jennifer Santoro
If you are experiencing any signs of gum disease, such as red, swollen or bleeding gums, you should schedule an appointment to be screened by Dr. Santoro. If she determines you have gum disease, the two of you can develop a plan to reverse it as soon as possible.