As we stated in our last blog post, 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease. If you think you are among that 75% how should you seek treatment? The first step is visiting your dentist. At our Evanston dental office we have several different treatment options depending on the severity of your disease.
Mild Periodontal Disease
Mild periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis, can be reversed with proper care. First, you should have your teeth cleaned to remove bacteria from the periodontal pockets – either through a routine prophylaxis or through gross mouth debribment. Following this cleaning, home care is imperative. By using proper home care, such as brushing and flossing, the periodontal disease can be controlled.
Home care: For mild periodontal disease we recommend flossing prior brushing to get the bacteria out of the periodontal pockets. After brushing, you can follow up with a mouthwash to help maintain a healthy mouth. We always recommend a mouthwash without alcohol.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
Moderate periodontal disease requires more treatment with your dentist, such as focalized scaling and root planning in order to clean out deeper pockets. Your hygienist may place an antibiotic dressing in your pocket to help kill bacteria and keep the pocket clean. With moderate periodontal disease, more frequent hygiene appointments are necessary to keep track of the progress and to monitor how your bacteria respond to treatment.
Home care: For moderate periodontal disease includes flossing and brushing, but your doctor may also recommend an antibiotic mouth rinse, such as Perioguard. For patients with moderate periodontal disease, an electric toothbrush is a good idea as well.
Severe Periodontal Disease
To treat severe periodontal disease full mouth scaling and root planning is needed to clean bacteria out of the periodontal pockets. In some cases, our Evanston dental office recommends using PerioProtect as a non-invasive method to treat severe periodontal disease. In cases where the periodontal disease does not respond to PerioProtect and good home care, periodontal surgery may be required to correct damage done by periodontal disease. There are prescription medications that your doctor can give you to help combat any bone loss caused by periodontal disease. In very severe cases, tooth loss cannot be avoided, and extraction is necessary.
Home care: As in moderate and mild periodontal disease, regular brushing and flossing is very important to keep the bacteria population under control. Adding Perioguard to your routine is usually suggested, especially after scaling and root planning. If your dentist advises the use of PerioProtect, these trays should be worn at home several times a day in conjunction with your oral hygiene routine.
Unfortunately there is no cure for periodontal disease, however by following good home care practices and a prescribed treatment regimen with your dental office, it can be controlled. Periodontal disease is the number one cause for tooth loss in America. By working with your dentist to treat your periodontal disease early, you can increase your chances of keeping your pearly whites throughout your lifetime.