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Treating Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, a chronic infection of the gum tissue and bone in the mouth, is the number one cause of tooth loss in America. Regular periodontal treatment provided by Dr. Lee at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists can help correct this chronic bacterial infection, helping patients to save their teeth.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is best prevented by the regular brushing and flossing away of dental plaque from the surfaces of teeth. Plaque, is a sticky white substance that clings to teeth, resulting in tooth decay and tartar buildup if not removed.

This plaque buildup results in bleeding and swollen gums, which is an early indication of periodontal disease. Swollen gums create spaces between teeth and gum tissue where plaque gathers, encouraging the growth of bacteria.

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or gingivitis, begins with bleeding and swelling along the gumline. This first indication of the progression of periodontal disease can be reversed with consistent oral hygiene and professional teeth cleanings at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists.

If not treated, plaque that gathers along the gumline hardens into a substance called tartar or calculus. This accumulation causes gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming “pockets” where food particles and bacteria collect.

This infection can destroy the supporting gum tissue and underlying jaw bone. If not treated, periodontal disease can cause teeth to become loose and eventually lead to tooth loss.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

There are times when periodontal disease occurs even though patients take excellent care of their teeth. People with certain conditions, such as diabetes, tobacco use, and teeth grinding are more susceptible to the development of periodontal disease.

Regardless of the cause of periodontal disease, it’s essential to seek treatment as soon possible to remove existing bacteria and regenerate supporting structures of gum tissue and bone. Dr. Lee and her compassionate staff at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists provide a variety of treatment options for those dealing with periodontal disease.

Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

Periodontal scaling and root planing is the most common and conservative form of treatment for periodontal disease, allowing Dr. Lee and her staff to clean gum tissue and root surfaces. Scaling and root planing is the most effective way to prevent the progression of periodontal disease.

Scaling and root planing removes the plaque and calculus that collect in the spaces between teeth and gum tissue. Because plaque tends to stick to rough surfaces, the root surface of each affected tooth is made smooth in a process called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining calculus and smooths uneven areas of the root surface.

Scaling and root planing is especially effective for the treatment of early stages of periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis. With more advanced gum disease, scaling and root planing may be the first step before surgery.

Scaling and root planing is generally completed in one to four visits to Klamath Falls Dental Specialists depending on the severity of the disease and the number of teeth affected.

It is essential to practice good dental hygiene at home after this procedure is completed to prevent any further progression of gum disease. Brush thoroughly after each meal and floss once a day to get rid of the bacteria that forms plaque. Visit your dentist once every six months unless otherwise directed to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.