Periodontal Disease

Gum Disease Treatment Norwich, VT

Periodontal treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease.  Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate  for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment .

Scaling and Root Planing Overview

The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include deep scale and root planing (deep cleaning) The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or as a preventative measure. They are commonly performed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.

What do the procedures entail?

  • Scaling:
    When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
  • Root Planing:
    Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.

Local anesthesia may be used during this procedure.

Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, antibiotic fibers may be placed in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths. Your dentist may recommend that you see a Periodontist.

Benefits of Gum Disease Treatment

If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more esthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.