What is periodontal (gum) disease?
At Light Dental Studios, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease based on guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Periodontology. Signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, loose adult teeth, deep pockets between the gums and teeth, deposits of calculus (tartar), and bone loss or recession. Below you can learn about the different treatment modalities used to prevent the advancement of periodontal disease.1
Scaling/Root Planing "Deep Cleaning":
Scaling and root planing is done for patients that have active signs of gum disease. Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high stress can be risk factors associated with a higher incidence of gum disease. Other risk factors include smoking, a family history of gum disease, and poor oral hygiene. The goal of a deep cleaning is to clean the pockets around each tooth of bacteria so that the infection in the gum can heal and the pocket will become shallow enough so that it can be kept clean at home with a toothbrush and dental floss. Depending on the number and depth of deep pockets, a deeper cleaning can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. After a deep cleaning, patients are seen every 3 to 4 months for a Periodontal Maintenance (see below) to monitor the depth of the pockets and promote continued healing.
This cleaning is what we call a "regular" cleaning for patients with diagnosed periodontal (gum) disease. It is completed in one hour with an exam and x-rays (if needed). The goal of the cleaning is to promote continued health in the gums while preventing advancement of the gum disease. Your hygienist (with your dentist) will monitor deep pockets and help you to find the right tools to get into any hard to clean areas. Periodontal maintenance are usually done every 3 to 4 months after a deep cleaning. If all the pockets return to healthy levels, you will be allowed to have your cleaning every six months. In the presence of any pockets, a more frequent cleaning cycle is recommended.
This is an antibiotic that is placed directly into deep pockets that are not responding to good home care and frequent cleanings. The antibiotic is active in the pocket for 10 days and kills the bacteria responsible for the progression of gum disease. The allows the gum tissue to heal and get reattachment to the tooth. This treatment can be done up to 3 times per pocket, if needed.
Also known as Peridex, this antimicrobial (antibacterial) mouthwash can be used in conjunction with deep cleanings to promote healing in the gum tissue. We have had great success for our patients to heal deep pockets by using a diluted form in their Water-Piks
. This is a prescription only mouthrinse that is dispensed in the office.