At Specialty Dental Care we specialize in treating a wide range of dental problems. We’re equipped to handle issues large and small, and we always find the best method of treatment possible for our patients. One common issue we find ourselves dealing with often is gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This can be a severe issue that requires surgery, but more patients aren’t crazy about getting major dental surgery. They ask if there are non-surgical treatment methods, and we’re ready to answer that question right now.
Non-Surgical Treatment Methods
Fortunately, there are a few non-surgical treatment methods that could help patients living with periodontal disease. They can be used to treat many milder cases of gum disease, which is why catching it early can be incredibly beneficial.
First, there are medications out there that can help combat the infection. That’s what gum disease is after all. It’s an infection that affects much of your mouth and can lead to more serious symptoms. Medication alone isn’t usually enough to deal with even mild cases of gum disease though.
Scaling and Root Planing
That’s where scaling and root planing comes in. This is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces of each tooth that can remove plaque and calculus tartar and revise tooth and gum anatomy so that daily cleaning by you can be more effective. This treatment method can penetrate deep and take care of buildup that might elude the typical brushing or dental cleaning. This can smooth the tooth root and remove any of the bacteria present, helping to clear up the symptoms of periodontal disease that you’ve been suffering from.
Afterwards, other therapy could still be needed. We’re talking about antibiotics and other therapies that can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the severity of your gum disease and how long you’ve had it, you could need different treatments. In most cases, you’ll need to follow up with your dentist for maintenance therapy to ensure that your gum disease and related issues are not coming back.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Because non-surgical methods of treating gum disease really only work well in the early stages, it’s important to know some of the risk factors and symptoms. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not just looking at your own medical history, but the medical histories of family members as well. Gum disease can be hereditary to a certain extent because it is how your immune system that you inherited from your parents reacts to your germs (some of which were passed on to you by your parents.
Diabetes is one disease that can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. AIDS and cancer can also pose as potential risk factors. In fact, even some of the treatments for AIDS and cancer can be increase your risk of developing gum disease. On that same note, certain medications can also affect your chances of developing periodontal disease. Talk to your dentist and see if any of your current medications could put you at risk, and be extra vigilant about this dental problem if need be.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Remember to ask your dentist to check you periodically at your dental recalls for periodontal disease. Often a quick screening can catch developing gum disease problems before they become irreversible. Often periodontal disease does not present with symptoms until the bone loss has progressed. You’ll want to be on the lookout for symptoms of gum disease so that you can still use non-surgical treatment methods if possible. Bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, pain while chewing, drifting or loose teeth could all be signs that you have periodontal disease. Bad breath is also a symptom of periodontal disease. Basically, if something with your oral hygiene doesn’t seem right, you’ll want to ask about gum disease.