The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular professional examinations and cleaning. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Early on, when redness, swelling, and bleeding are the only symptoms, we can treat and reverse gum disease non-surgically. Regular checkups greatly increase your potential for early detection and conservative treatment. Treatment usually includes careful, individualized instruction regarding the most effective means of brushing and flossing at home. This strategy is often accompanied by professional scaling or careful scraping of all affected tooth surfaces, gum pocket irrigation, and even local antibiotic placement in areas of significant irritation.
Patients generally experience immediate improvement. However, if symptoms don't improve significantly, you may require surgical treatment.
If gum disease progresses without intervention, a patient might need surgery to remediate the disease and restore the mouth to good oral health. Some surgical treatments include pocket depth reduction, bone or tissue regeneration, crown lengthening, and/or soft tissue grafts. All of these procedures can improve your chances of keeping your teeth for life.
The periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including four additional years of education beyond dental school.
Periodontists also provide other treatments, such as gum contouring, crown lengthening and bone regeneration procedures.