27 Jun The six-step process to halt the progress of Periodontal Disease
With careful specialist guidance and care, it is possible to halt the progress of periodontitis completely. The key to success is eliminating the triggering bacterial plaque that causes the disease to progress and establishing good habits and excellent oral-hygiene practices.
There are six stages in the successful treatment of periodontitis:
1. Oral hygiene instruction and advice
This phase aims to drastically reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and reduce gum inflammation. Our Specialist periodontist will first explain the root cause of periodontitis and then provide clear instructions on keeping your teeth and gums clean. The Specialist will advise you on using different oral hygiene tools and techniques: It is important to emphasise that cooperating with good home oral hygiene habits is essential for a successful treatment outcome.
2. Professional cleaning
All bacterial deposits (plaque and calculus) are mechanically removed from all the accessible areas of the teeth, and the teeth are then polished. The exposed roots are treated with fluoride. If necessary, Dr Ope and/or our dental hygienist will also remove all bacterial deposits and calculus from the deeper root surfaces and flapping gum pockets. For patients with advanced periodontitis, numerous appointments for teeth cleaning are necessary.
3. Antibiotic therapy
In some cases, antibiotics are required to augment the results of deep cleaning. This is particularly true in patients under the age of 36.
After 2 – 3 months, Dr Ope will check and carry out a carry our complete assessment of your gums to check the progress of your treatment. A particular instrument called a periodontal probe is used to record the depth of any periodontal pockets, and you will be given a score if there is bleeding from the gums. If periodontal pockets are deeper than 4mm, further treatment options may be necessary, including corrective surgical therapy.
5. Corrective surgical therapy
In situations with advanced periodontitis, where we cannot reduce the deeper gum pockets, surgery can be performed and successfully make the pockets 4mm or less.
The areas that need surgery are usually inaccessible to brushes and floss, so the inflammation will remain there as long as bacteria can colonise them.
Another commonly used approach in treating residual periodontal pockets is regenerative periodontal therapy. This involves using either proteins or bone-replacement grafts and membranes to reconstruct bone that has been lost because of periodontitis.
The gums are then sutured back into place to fit nicely around the teeth, and the sutures are usually left in place for one to two weeks before they are removed.
6. Aftercare – supportive periodontal therapy
Two factors which affect the long-term success:
The patients’ oral hygiene care at home and has regular care from our hygienist.
Our specialist and hygienist will need to review your gums regularly to check that the inflammation has been halted and is under control. Follow-up check-ups are usually scheduled every three months.
We cannot stress that successful periodontal treatment requires your complete adherence to our daily oral-hygiene advice and attendance at regular follow-up appointments. If you have avoided us for a while… please book a check-up. It is so essential as once you have gum disease, you will need constant support.
Watch this video here to show the process in animation: