Typically the dentist or dental hygienist uses special instruments to clean or debride the teeth below the gumline in order to disrupt any plaque growing there. This treatment helps in preventing any further progress of established periodontal disease. Multiple studies have shown that even after periodontal debridement, bacteria and plaque tend to grow back to earlier (pre-cleaning) levels after about 3–4 months. Without proper oral hygiene, it is difficult to overcome periodontal disease, more so if the patient has been suffering from extensive periodontal disease for considerable period.
A periodontist carries out effective cleaning in deep pockets. The process includes various methods such as scaling and root planing. The periodontist will also prescribe antibiotic and antifungal medications to treat infection in order to halt the progression of the disease.
Common treatments for periodontal disease:
- Dental Cleaning. A professional dental cleaning or debridement is a cleaning procedure that thoroughly cleans the teeth. Regular cleaning is an excellent way to help keep the oral cavity in good health and stop the spread of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease). Cleaning is recommended twice annually as a preventative measure, but those with history of periodontal diseases should opt for it every 3-4 months. Although periodontal diseases are not completely reversible, cleaning does play an important role in keeping the disease under control.
- Scaling and Root Planing. The bacteria and calculus or tarter need to be removed in order to maintain health of the gum tissue. The gum pockets are cleaned using a deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing. These are further normally treated with laser and/or antiobiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. A prescription mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning routines. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist might also recommend that you see a Periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
- Laser Bacterial Reduction. Laser treatments can be used in combination with scaling and root planning, antibiotic treatments, curettage, surgery or as a stand-alone treatment to help reduce bacteria before and/or after many common periodontal procedures. Research has shown that laser treatments have been incredibly effective to deter bacteria from re-colonizing.
- Tissue Regeneration. Bone and gum grafting procedures are performed to actively encourage regrowth the tissues that have been destroyed.
- Pocket Reduction Surgery. Pocket reduction surgery (also known as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment that can be performed to reduce the pocket size between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the jawbone is another option that serves to eliminate indentations in the bone that foster the colonization of bacteria.
- Dental Implants. When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth can be restored by implanting prosthetic teeth into the jawbone. Tissue regeneration procedures may be required prior to the placement of a dental implant in order to strengthen the bone.
Since Periodontal disease is not completely reversible it can re-activate, the bacterial colonies begin to rebuild every 50 to 75 days. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, you need ongoing periodontal maintenance cleanings every 3-4 months to prevent spread of the disease.