PERIODONTAL (GUM) THERAPY Williston Park, NY
Keeping your mouth healthy requires a good oral hygiene routine. A major part of this routine is the care you perform at home. Your teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and flossed at least once a day. In addition to your daily care, regularly scheduled dental cleanings and exams are also critical. Even occasionally skipping any part of this care routine can lead to the development of gum disease. When gum disease occurs, professional care is needed. Long Island Smile can help with periodontal therapy.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a progressive oral health issue. When it first begins, it is barely noticeable. It occurs when bacteria and plaque build up on your teeth and irritate the gums. This irritation triggers an inflammatory response, and the tissue swells. These early symptoms are frequently either overlooked or ignored, which allows gum disease to continue progressing. The gums start pulling away from the teeth, causing pockets to form. The pockets begin collecting bacteria, which are impossible to remove by brushing and flossing. Bacteria starts attacking the periodontal ligaments and the jawbone while continuing to harm the gum tissue. The longer the disease goes untreated, the worse it becomes. Gums recede, which can lead to root exposure, your teeth become loose, and you may even suffer tooth loss.
Periodontal therapy is a treatment for gum disease that is designed to eliminate the buildup of plaque, tartar, bacteria and other debris from your teeth without the use of surgery. Therapy involves the use of a scaling and root planing treatment, which is essentially a deep cleaning of all surfaces of your teeth both above and below the gumline. While nonsurgical, the procedure is still done under a local anesthetic, as your gums may be very sensitive. The local anesthetic prevents you from feeling any discomfort, which can allow you to be more relaxed while we clean your teeth.
The procedure starts with scaling. Using a specialized scaler, we remove all buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, including tartar. Also called calculus, tartar is a calcified plaque that cannot be removed with a toothbrush, no matter how often you brush. Special attention is given to the area around and just below the gumline. Removing all buildup at the gumline alleviates the irritation of the gum tissue, which can help to reduce inflammation.
Once scaling is complete, the next step is root planing. This step involves the smoothing of your tooth roots. Special tools are used to remove plaque, bacteria, and other toxins from the roots of your teeth. With a smooth surface, it is much harder for anything to collect there. After root planing is complete, an antibacterial wash is used to eliminate any bacteria that may still be hanging around. You are then scheduled for a follow-up 4 to 6 weeks later so that we can make sure that your treatment was effective.
Additional Care with Periodontal Maintenance
For some patients, one scaling and root planing procedure are not enough to allow the gums to start healing. If the teeth have not been thoroughly cleaned, the lingering bacteria can allow gum disease to continue progressing despite your treatment. In this case, we may recommend you for periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is a series of regularly scheduled cleanings and exams of your teeth. Depending upon your situation, these appointments may be as often as every two months or as far apart as every six months. At these appointments, we look over your teeth and gums and measure periodontal pockets. We may also take x-rays of your mouth so that we can monitor your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. After looking over your mouth, the teeth are cleaned. With these visits, we can help to ensure that the progression of gum disease has been halted and that your mouth is beginning to heal. Learn more about periodontal maintenance.
With periodontal therapy, we can help to stop the progression of gum disease and give your mouth the chance it needs to heal. Call Long Island Smile today for more information and to schedule your periodontal disease consultation at (516) 243-7473.