What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a bacterial infection caused by the build-up on bacteria in and around the tooth and root surfaces. If this build up is not removed, then there can be loss of the supporting structures of the tooth which can eventually lead to the loss of the tooth. The anatomy of a tooth is complex with different areas on the tooth and root surface, all these areas provide a haven for the bacteria to build up on and eventually lead to the progression of the disease. There are numerous factors which can affect the disease process such as uncontrolled diabetes, smoking and genetics.
The initial treatment procedure
The initial treatment involves a thorough examination and assessment of your teeth and gums. Factors such as lifestyle factors, genetics and current regimes will be discussed. X-rays if indicated will be taken. The initial treatment aims to remove and disrupt the bacteria using instruments to prevent the disease from progressing. At the same time, it is important to educate you on how to prevent the build up of the bacteria so that the disease does not progress. If the disease does not respond to this initial treatment, then further treatment in the form of minor gum surgery maybe indicated. This will be explained to you by your treating clinician.
Benefits of periodontal treatment
- Periodontal treatment aims to reduce or eliminate the bacteria present around and below the gum surface. By removing these bacteria, the aim is to stop or prevent the disease from progressing.
- It has also been shown that treatment for gum disease can help improve the control of your blood sugar levels meaning it can help treat diabetes.
- The treatment also helps reduce bleeding gums, bad taste and bad breath.
- Without treatment there is a risk of disease progression and tooth or teeth being lost.
What happens after treatment?
Following the initial course of treatment, you will be reassessed in approximately two to three months. At that stage a decision can, be made whether further treatment is indicated. If further treatment is indicated, treatment options to help resolve the disease may include further cleaning below the gum line, minor gum surgery or regular maintenance with the hygienist.
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