How to Treat Periodontitis and Improve Gum Health

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Help treat Periodontitis with these tips.

Periodontitis. Periodontal disease. Gum disease. No matter what you want to call it, this is one of the worst oral health problems you can experience. When left untreated, this type of disease can lead to severe tooth decay, tooth loss, bleeding gums, a receding gum line, and other dental problems.

The good news is periodontitis can be repaired by a dental professional even when you’re suffering from a severe case. Let’s take a look at the steps involved with diagnosing the problem, how to treat periodontitis, and a few ways for you to prevent this particular dental disease from occurring in the first place.


Steps to Diagnose Periodontitis

Before you consider how to treat periodontitis, you must first figure out if this is what you’re suffering from. If you suspect that you have gum disease because your gums are bleeding, swollen, or tender to the touch, call your dentist for an appointment right away. A dental professional will take these steps to diagnose the problem:

  • Review Medical History — You’ll begin with a medical history review where the dentist will consider possible causes such as smoking or medications that cause dry mouth.
  • Examine Your Mouth — In addition to plaque and tartar buildup, your dentist will example your teeth and gums for easy bleeding.
  • Measure Pocket Depth — For this step, dental probes will be positioned beneath your gum line to measure the pocket depth. If there are any pockets over 4mm in depth, you may be suffering from periodontitis.
  • Take Dental X-Rays — Lastly, your dentist will use x-rays to look for bone loss where deep pocket depths have been found.

Non-Surgical Periodontitis Treatments

If you catch the problem early on and it hasn’t progressed too far, then you might be able to fix it with a simple treatment or two. This is how to treat peritonitis using non-surgical techniques:

  • Scaling — With the use of either dental instruments, laser, or ultrasonic device, this treatment will remove tartar and bacteria from your teeth, including under the gums.
  • Root Planting — Scaling and root planting go hand-in-hand. This part of the procedure smooths out the root surfaces, which will discourage future tartar and bacteria while removing bacterial byproducts that may cause inflammation and delay the healing process.
  • Antibiotics — To help control a bacterial infection, your dentist may prescribe either topical (mouth rinses, gels for use between the teeth) or oral antibiotics.

Surgical Periodontitis Treatments

If your dental professional determines that the periodontitis has progressed far enough, then you may need a much more involved procedure.

Here is how to treat periodontitis using surgical methods:

  • Pocket Reduction Surgery — Also referred to as flap surgery, this procedure involves the dentist making small incisions in your gum line so that part of the tissue can be lifted up, providing access to the roots for more effective scaling and root planting. The dentist will also check for bone loss (common with periodontitis) and re-contour the bone as needed.
  • Soft Tissue Graft — Since your gum line recedes from periodontitis, you may need to have the damaged spots reinforced. Typically, this process involves removing a bit of tissue from your palate or another donor source, which is then attached to the affected area.
  • Bone Grafting — In some cases, a bout of periodontitis will destroy the bone surrounding a tooth’s root. Your dentist will either use fragments of your own bone, synthetic pieces, or donated fragments for the graft. This will hold your tooth in place to help prevent tooth loss in the future.
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration — It’s important that any bone destroyed by bacteria be regrown. One such technique involves a piece of biocompatible fabric being placed between the existing bone and tooth. This will allow the bone to grow back by keeping unwanted tissue outside of the healing area.
  • Tissue-Stimulating Proteins — Another technique that helps bone regrowth is the use of a special gel containing tissue-stimulating proteins. These are the same proteins involved in the development of tooth enamel and will stimulate the growth of healthy bone and tissue.

Techniques to Avoid Periodontitis

As everyone knows, neglecting to brush your teeth causes a buildup of plaque and tartar. Over time, this can cause periodontitis and other dental issues. If you want to avoid periodontitis and achieve good oral hygiene, follow these simple techniques:

  • Brush/Floss Daily — If you want to maintain or improve your oral health, brushing and flossing must be part of your daily routine. You should always brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss between your teeth and along the gum line once per day.
  • Replace Toothbrush — Many people don’t realize that a toothbrush will only be optimally effective for a brief period of time. In order to get the most out of every daily brushing, replace your toothbrush at least every three months.
  • Electric Toothbrush — If brushing your teeth isn’t as effective as you’d like it to be, consider switching to an electric toothbrush. These can be especially helpful for children, who will often find them a lot more enjoyable to use.
  • Mouth Rinse — Using a fluoride mouth rinse once or twice per day will help kill the vast majority of bacteria in your mouth. This will help keep your teeth clean and leave your breath feeling refreshed.
  • Regular Cleanings — No matter how vigilant you are about caring for your teeth at home, you should get a professional cleaning every six months. This will not only reinvigorate your teeth and gums, but will allow you to catch any dental problems early on.

Contact Dr. Ferullo for Periodontitis Treatment

Once you learn how to treat periodontitis, you can easily avoid future dental problems associated with both your teeth and gums. The St. Petersburg dentist office of Dr. Ferullo can assist you with diagnosing periodontitis, deciding which treatment or treatments will be best for your particular situation, and then provide you with the tools necessary to avoid future problems. If you have any questions about professional dental oral care or would like to set up an appointment, contact us by calling (727) 822-8101 to schedule an appointment.

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