Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be prevented through regular oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental cleanings. However in some cases, due to genetics, a history of poor or irregular dental care, medical conditions such as diabetes, or many other factors, gum disease (known as periodontal disease or periodontitis) may set in. Your dental hygienist and dentist are trained to evaluate each patient for periodontal disease and to detect it as early as possible to prevent it's spreading or worsening. Once a patient has been diagnosed with periodontal disease, the condition can never be completely reversed; however with proper treatment the condition can be controlled. One of the reasons it is so important to treat periodontitis is the link between this and systemic diseases, especially heart disease and stroke, as well as complications during pregnancy. For more information, follow this link to the American Academy of Periodontology website.
In most cases, the first step to treating periodontal disease is a detailed, deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. Depending on the extent of the disease when it is discovered, scaling and root planing may be divided into more than one appointment if necessary. Some cases are not responsive to this initial therapy or are too advanced for this therapy, and these cases may require a surgical intervention or referral to a specialist.
After scaling and root planing, your dentist may recommend a shorter time between cleaning appointments until he is satisfied that the disease is well controlled. Each treatment plan for management of gum disease will be developed by your dentist to meet the needs of your individual condition.