Periodontal disease is a disease that affects periodontal tissues. It affects the alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, cementum and the gum line. Periodontal diseases are classified into two categories, namely gingivitis and periodontitis. They are very common and affect a large number of people. If left unchecked or untreated the infection can spread to the bone and cause destruction of tissues. In such cases, the teeth will have to be extracted.
Treatment options for periodontal disease include regenerative and surgical procedures. Periodontal surgery is used only when it is believed that regenerative procedures will not work. The aim of the treatment is to remove the bacteria that are causing the infection. If the disease is in initial stages, it can be effectively treated by using antibiotics. Proper oral hygiene is very important during the entire treatment procedure. If detected early, periodontal diseases can be easily controlled by maintaining good oral hygiene.
Scaling and root planning are common treatment procedures which are employed to treat periodontal disease. Scaling is performed to remove the plaque layer from the teeth. The plaque layer is mechanically scraped off the teeth. Ultrasonic instruments may be used to remove the scales. Root planning is done to make the surface of the teeth’s mouth softer so that plaque cannot build up.
Depending on the extent of infection, the treatment procedure will vary. In case of moderate periodontal disease, the procedure is the same as that of mild — scaling and root planning are performed and antibiotics are prescribed. However, more visits are required if the infection is more severe. Typically, four visits are needed. In the case of extreme periodontal disease, there may be a loss of bony tissue due to spread of infection. The surgical procedure may be more invasive and in case of extensive damage to the bone tissue, bone grafting may be required.
Maintenance of proper oral hygiene is an essential part of the treatment procedure. This is called “periodontal maintenance”. It is also very essential to visit the dentist once in every three months for reevaluation. Regular cleanings are also required to prevent the bacteria from repopulating the tissues. If infection is detected in the initial stages, the treatment options are much more successful. For this reason, it is recommended to visit the dentist often after periodontal treatment.