At Waterfields Dental Clinic in Toronto, we take a multifaceted approach to periodontal (gum) disease treatment that includes both preventive and therapeutic components.
Periodontal disease is extremely common, and affects millions of North Americans. Fortunately, it's both highly preventable and treatable! Here at our Toronto dental practice, our dentists consider the treatment and prevention of gum disease as a life-long undertaking for each patient.
With thorough, regular oral hygiene at home, as well as regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings, you can prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place, or rid yourself of it if it has already developed.
Treatment: What to Expect
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you can expect your treatment to involve any or all of the following components:
New & Improved Oral Hygiene Habits
This is one of the first things we will recommend as part of your treatment plan. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it's likely that your oral hygiene routine could use some improvement. We'll evaluate the oral hygiene routine you currently have, and give you tips and advice on how to make it more effective.
This may include:
- More frequent and thorough brushing (possibly including after meals)
- More frequent and thorough flossing
- Supplemental oral hygiene measures (mouthwash or dental picks, for instance)
We may also advise you on dietary changes and adjustments, since the types of foods you eat can sometimes contribute to gum disease.
Calculus (Tartar) Removal
While a big part of keeping your gums healthy is your job on a day to day basis, we play an important role, too! Your dentist will see to it that you receive a thorough oral hygiene cleaning each time you visit our office.
Part of your periodontal treatment plan will include what's called scaling and root planning, which is the removal of calcified plaque (also known as calculus or tartar) from the root surfaces of your teeth. This process typically involves both ultrasonic and manual (hand) scaling instruments.
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend more frequent checkup and cleaning appointments at our Toronto dental office, at least until the problem has been dealt with. Regular checkups are extremely important to your oral health in general, and especially if you have gum disease.
About 4 weeks after your initial periodontal therapy session, your dentist will evaluate whether it has been effective. Depending on the severity of your case, the above treatment and prevention methods may be sufficient to re-establish good oral health.
Occlusal Bite Therapy
If you are suffering from any bite disorders, this may be an additional facet of your treatment process. This may include therapy and treatment for loose teeth, clenching or grinding habits, or localized grinding of some tooth surfaces or even orthodontic (tooth movement) treatment.
For more severe gum disease cases, periodontal surgery may be recommended. Periodontal surgery can include techniques to repair and regenerate soft or hard tissue, and/or replace missing teeth with dental implants. If you require surgery, it will be performed by a periodontal specialist who has been specifically trained in these techniques.
The main objectives of periodontal surgery are the elimination of periodontal pockets, and the restoration of normal dental function and aesthetics.
Post Treatment: Vigilance is Key!
After your periodontal treatment has been successfully completed, you're still not done! You'll have to continue your thorough and careful oral hygiene routine, and continue to visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and checkups in order to prevent disease from reoccurring.