Understanding Periodontal Therapy: What It Is and 5 Ways It Can Help Treat Gum Disease

Save your teeth with periodontal therapy.

Periodontal Therapy Basics

Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it’s often called, is a prevalent oral health issue in the United States. Recent studies show that roughly half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease, whether it be gingivitis or periodontitis. This disease is not just widespread, but it also poses a serious threat to your overall oral hygiene. This is where periodontal therapy comes in. 

Periodontal therapy represents a critical treatment option in combating this disease, helping to halt its progression and maintain your smile. Periodontal therapy is both a form of active treatment and preventative care to maintain optimal gum health, and customized treatment plans can encompass several different procedures. 

Let’s dive in and explore why this therapy could be a game changer for your oral health.

What is periodontal therapy?

Periodontal therapy is a specialized treatment for gum disease, which is designed to prevent the progression of periodontal disease, which, if left untreated, would otherwise lead to tooth loss and other health complications.

The primary goal of periodontal therapy is to control and stop the infection and restore the health of the gums and supporting bone structure. This is achieved using various methods, depending on the severity of the condition. One of the common techniques used in periodontal therapy is scaling and root planing, which involves deep cleaning the gum pockets and removing plaque and tartar buildup.

Ultimately, this therapy is pivotal in managing periodontal disease, maintaining optimal oral hygiene, and preserving your natural smile.

What does periodontal therapy involve?

Periodontal therapy involves a detailed, meticulous course of treatment. A variety of therapies can be included in treatment, depending on the severity of the gum disease. 

The first line of defense are often  procedures known as scaling and root planing. This involves a deep cleaning of the gum line to remove plaque and tartar (scaling), followed by smoothing the root surfaces of the teeth (root planing) to deter further bacterial buildup and encourage the gums to reattach to the teeth.

For more advanced cases, gum surgery may be necessary. There are several types, including flap surgery to further clean deeper toward the roots of the teeth and grafts to replace or encourage new growth of bone or gum tissue lost to periodontitis.

Antibiotics can also be used in conjunction with other treatments to eliminate hard-to-reach bacteria. They can come in various forms, such as a mouth rinse, gel, oral tablet, or microspheres, which are tiny particles that release medicine over time.

In some instances, laser therapy may be used as a less invasive alternative to surgery. This high-tech therapy uses light energy to remove harmful bacteria and diseased tissue gently.

Periodontal therapy involves ongoing maintenance. This typically includes more frequent cleanings and checkups, usually every three to four months, to monitor the health of your gums and ensure that the disease does not progress.

Ultimately, the specific mix and sequence of these treatments will depend on an individual’s specific case of periodontal disease and their overall oral health. Your gum disease dentist in Lawton, Oklahoma, will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs.

What are the benefits of periodontal therapy?

Periodontal therapy comes with a host of benefits that significantly improve both your oral and overall health.

For starters, this treatment can effectively stop the progression of gum disease, preventing it from escalating into more serious health complications. The process of scaling and root planing, for example, not only cleans the gum line but also fosters a healthier environment for your gums to reattach to your teeth.

Moreover, periodontal therapy helps reduce gum inflammation and discomfort that comes with gum disease. With reduced inflammation, your risk of bleeding gums decreases, and everyday activities, such as eating and speaking become more comfortable.

Additionally, periodontal therapy can enhance your smile aesthetics. Healthy gums result in a more appealing and confident smile, which can greatly boost your self-esteem. It’s also worth noting that periodontal therapy can potentially protect against tooth loss, a common consequence of advanced gum disease.

Lastly, there’s a growing body of research suggesting a connection between periodontal disease and systemic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. Therefore, keeping your gums healthy through periodontal therapy could also contribute positively to your overall health.

In a nutshell, periodontal therapy is a crucial measure in maintaining oral hygiene and leading a healthier, happier life. 

Is periodontal therapy always necessary? 

Periodontal therapy becomes necessary when the gums, the tissues that hold your teeth in place, become infected. This often happens due to the build-up of plaque and tartar on teeth and under the gum line, leading to gum disease. Symptoms can include swollen or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and loose teeth. If left untreated, this could escalate to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that could lead to tooth loss.

Ignoring the need for periodontal therapy can have dire repercussions. The infection can spread, leading to serious damage to the bone structure supporting the teeth. This not only leads to tooth loss but can also affect facial aesthetics as the loss of bone changes the facial structure. Additionally, the bacteria causing the infection can enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to or exacerbating systemic health conditions.

If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, it’s crucial to seek help from an experienced dentist. Remember, your oral health is a significant part of your overall health, and taking steps to maintain it can save you from discomfort and additional health complications down the line. 

Gentle and Effective Periodontal Therapy in Lawton, OK

Periodontal disease is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a common yet often overlooked condition that can have far-reaching implications on both your oral and overall health. Fortunately, with knowledgeable professionals and effective treatments, like scaling and root planing, it can be managed and even reversed.

If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t put your health at risk any longer. Remember, your smile’s strength lies not just in your teeth but in the health of your gums, too. Prioritize your pearly whites and schedule a gum health evaluation at Sheppard Family Dental today.