Many dental patients are conscious of the end to maintain healthy teeth and avoid cavities and decay. But a much smaller number are aware of the importance of looking after their gums. Your gum health is integral to the health of your teeth, and the consequences of poor care can be disastrous. The first sign of an issue is periodontal, or gum, disease, which appears as red, swollen, or bleeding gums, foul breath, or a bad taste in your mouth. Periodontal disease from inadequate oral hygiene can lead to severe infection or tooth loss if left unchecked. If you are experiencing issues with your gums, the best course of action might be periodontal therapy.

What is periodontal therapy?

Periodontal therapy is a general term for the range of treatments designed to fight gum disease. Some of these treatments are non-invasive, while surgical procedures may be required for more advanced cases. They will restore good health to your teeth and gums and prevent tooth loss. The best treatment option will depend on your particular circumstances, but may include:

  • Scaling
  • Root planing
  • Antibiotics
  • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Bone grafting
  • Guided tissue regeneration

When would you need periodontal therapy?

The need for periodontal therapy can be avoided by following good oral hygiene practices at all times. This means brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly. You should visit a dentist twice a year for a checkup to raise any potential red flags.

Gum disease is different for everyone, but if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist right away.

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

The sooner you visit your dentist, the quicker they will be able to assign you a course of periodontal therapy to restore the health of your gums.

What are the benefits?

Gum disease can affect patients in several ways. It can cause severe discomfort during daily activities like eating and brushing teeth, and if unchecked, it could result in tooth loss. If you have gum disease, it’s common to feel self-conscious about your smile and worried about the long-term prospects for your dental health. Periodontal therapy can get your oral hygiene back on track and bring your gums and teeth back to their optimum condition. You will be able to go about your day without pain or irritation and can feel more confident about flashing your beautiful smile.

The periodontal therapy process

Your dentist will examine your gums and determine the proper course of action, depending on the scale and severity of your symptoms. 

Periodontal treatment will involve scaling, which will remove the tartar caused by bacteria around your gum line using hand-operated, powered cleaning instruments. In some cases, you may require root planing, which smooths the surface of the tooth root to discourage any future buildup of plaque.

If your gum recession is advanced, you may also require surgery to restore the gums and cover any exposed roots.

Get in touch to learn more about periodontal therapy in Petaluma, California.