Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal diseases, such as Gingivitis and Periodontitis, are infections that affect the gums and bone that support teeth. These areas of concern can become infected with bacteria which, when left untreated, progresses to tissue damage including gum recession and bone loss. Furthermore, the teeth affected will become mobile and eventually lead to tooth loss. Whispering Pines Dental’s team of skilled hygienists, along with Dr. Pruneski, is ready to help you confront these oral health problems head on!

How do I know if I need periodontal treatment?

At each dental preventative appointment, your hygienist checks the areas between your tooth and gums to ensure that we are treating your periodontal situation quickly and appropriately. The hygienist measures the depth of your gum pockets by using a probe with millimeter markings. A healthy mouth will have probe depths no greater than 3mm.

The levels of periodontal disease are

0 Healthy

No bleeding while probing
Probe readings 3mm or less
No bone loss evident on x-ray

1 Gingivitis

Bleeding while probing
Probe readings 3mm or less
No bone loss evident on x-ray

2 Early Periodontitis

Bleeding while probing
Probe readings 4-5mm
Slight bone loss evident on x-ray

3 Moderate Periodontitis

Probe readings 5-7mm
Moderate bone loss evident on x-ray

4 Severe Periodontitis

Probe readings 7mm+
Severe bone loss evident on x-ray

Preventing periodontal disease

A good oral hygiene routing practiced for a few minutes twice a day can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease and tooth decay.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth once a day with dental floss to remove debris from areas that your toothbrush can't reach.
  • Make sure and visit Whispering Pines Dental regularly. Professional cleanings from Kim, Sherrie, and Samantha are the only way to completely remove the tartar along the gum line.

Treating periodontal diseases

Treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. If the disease is caught very early and no damage has been done, you may simply be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene.

Even with these measures, some patients develop more severe periodontal disease that must be treated. The first step typically involves a special cleaning, called scaling and root planning. Kim, Sherrie, or Samantha performs this deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces. This helps gum tissue heal and pockets to shrink.

Dr. Pruneski may also recommend medications to help control infection.  This is typically through the aid of an oral rinse or with an antibiotic placed directly in the periodontal pockets (called Arestin) after the deep cleaning is completed.

At your next visit, we will check the pocket depth to determine the effect of the scaling and root planning.  If the disease has continued to progress, additional treatment may be necessary.  You also may be referred to a periodontist.

If you have any questions regarding your periodontal health, please contact us.