Periodontal Therapy is the treatment of periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases are chronic bacterial infections that slowly attack and destroy the gums and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Untreated, periodontal disease can result in tooth loss. In the first stage of the disease (gingivitis), gums are red, swollen and bleed easily but with proper home care and professional treatment, gingivitis is reversible.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease. Plaque spreads into the gum line and causes infection and eventually, the gum tissue and supporting bone is broken down and destroyed. Teeth become loose or are lost. Unfortunately, gingivitis and periodontitis are fairly common. Approximately 50 percent of adults have gingivitis and 30 percent have periodontitis.
Periodontal disease is mainly caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is the sticky, colourless substance that forms on your teeth. Other factors that also affect gum health include:
- Poor Nutrition
Periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections. Research is suggesting that this may 1:
- Contribute to the development of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death.
Increase the risk of stroke.
- Increase a woman’s risk of having a preterm, low birth weight baby.
- Pose a serious threat to people whose health is compromised by diabetes, respiratory diseases, or osteoporosis.
Non-surgical Periodontal therapy or treatment usually consists of scaling and root planing. Scaling consists of the dentist or, more likely, dental hygienist, scaling the teeth with an instrument to remove any calculus (plaque / tartar) from the tooth and below the gumline. After periodontal scaling, all rough surfaces of the root are smoothed to remove toxins and so that the gum can heal and reattach to the tooth. This is called root planing. In some cases, systemic antibiotics will be prescribed. In other cases, scaling and root planning are followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials and host modulation (drugs that help your body eliminate infection or decrease its effects). Many patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain optimal oral health.
Periodontal surgery may be required if your dentist or periodontist decides that your periodontal disease cannot be managed through non-surgical treatment.
Advantages of Periodontal Therapy
- Helps to prevent tooth loss
- Helps to heal gum tissue
- Helps to prevent the advancement of periodontal disease