What is Periodontal Therapy?
Periodontal therapy is the treatment for hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) and other etiologic agents that can cause inflammation and disease in your mouth. Calculus is harder than bone and can only be removed by a dental hygienist or dentist.
The Three Steps of Periodontal Therapy
Diagnosis is the first step of periodontal therapy. Eley Family Dentistry’s hygienists perform a periodontal inspection during every routine visit, whether you are aware of it or not. Our staff uses a periodontal probe to inspect how much space is between your gum and your tooth. A healthy gum should have three millimeters or less of space between the two. Additionally, your gums should not bleed when probed. If they do, it is a sign that your gums are irritated by calculus that has built up above and/or below the gum line. In the diagnosis stage–if affected–your teeth will fall into one of three categories: gingivitis, advanced periodontitis, or periodontitis. The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which is characterized by bleeding or swollen gums that haven’t receded from the teeth yet. Periodontitis is the second stage of periodontal disease characterized by deep pockets between the gums and teeth that bleed and can oftentimes be filled with pus and bacteria; you may also show signs of bone loss in your teeth. Advanced periodontitis is the most extreme stage of periodontal disease characterized by extreme gum, bone and ligament loss, which can lead to your teeth falling out if gone untreated.
Treatment is the next stage of periodontal therapy. Your case’s severity will determine what treatments Eley Family Dentistry will recommend to get your mouth healthy again. If you are still in the gingivitis stage, you will likely have a routine cleaning. When patients talk about a “regular cleaning”, they are referring to a prophylactic cleaning. Prophylactic means preventative – a “regular cleaning” is used to help prevent periodontal disease. However, if you already have periodontal disease, then we need to actively treat the disease. A “regular cleaning” is preventive, and will not do anything to treat the underlying disease. If you have periodontal disease, then we will recommend a “deep cleaning” to treat the disease and help get your gum tissue healthy again. The hygienist will clean out the deep pockets under your gums where the calculus and bacteria have built up. We will also give you tips for proper home care to help reverse the disease’s effects and get your gingival health back on track. Eley Family Dentistry may also prescribe special rinses and medications to help your mouth heal more quickly.
Call Eley Family Dentistry today to schedule your appointment.
Melbourne Office: (321) 622-8711