Periodontal disease not only decreases the aesthetics of your teeth and gums, but it can increase your risk of serious health problems. Once periodontal disease is identified, working with your periodontist can resolve most problems.
The first step in addressing periodontal disease is to remove the tartar buildup that is causing inflammation and to rehabilitate your gums. This involves deep cleanings, which are more extensive than standard cleanings done every six months. You will have a single quadrant of your mouth deep cleaned at a time. Some offices use a dental scaler to scrape tartar off the tooth surface and below the gum line, whereas others can use an ultrasonic device. The latter is faster, but the ultimate goal is to clean any dental pockets and the tooth surface so that each tooth is smooth. You may need additional deep cleanings until any inflammation is gone and there are no longer dental pockets that can harbor bacteria.
Your periodontist may want you to use specialty products depending on the exact condition of your teeth and gums. Infections may warrant oral antibiotics and an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent the infection from spreading and alleviate pain. Additionally, you may need to use better products for your oral care, whether they are available by prescription or at the store. Some common oral hygiene products that can help your current situation and reduce recurrence are products made to reduce tartar buildup. Certain mouth rinses are made specifically to be used before brushing, which can make it easier to remove plaque during brushing and prevent it from turning into tartar. You may need to be more aggressive with flossing or try a different flossing product, such as a water flosser. Some anti-plaque products can be added to your water flosser to help direct the product between your teeth and into dental pockets.
Once your teeth and gums are free of periodontal disease, you will need to maintain your oral hygiene to minimize the chance of recurrence. Additionally, there may be other dental work that is necessary to help. For example, some people still have their wisdom teeth, which may need to be extracted if they are difficult to keep clean. Other considerations can be teeth that need to be repaired or extracted because they are rotting or causing abscesses. People with orthodontic concerns might consider options to improve the alignment of their teeth. When your teeth are crooked or closely spaced, it can make oral hygiene more challenging.
Identifying periodontal disease is the beginning of salvaging your teeth and gums. Periodontal treatments in the office and at home can reverse many instances of periodontal disease.