Treatment Options for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive, inflammatory condition that affects the gums and tissues supporting the teeth. Prompt diagnosis and early treatment can improve outcomes. Dr. Mondavi, our periodontist, offers a variety of treatment options for both gingivitis and periodontitis.
The mouth is full of bacteria. Pathogenic, or disease-causing, bacteria colonize the teeth and gum tissue through a biofilm called plaque. Manually removing plaque through brushing and flossing can reduce the bacterial load, but it cannot eliminate it. When bacteria levels get too high, the inflammatory process begins. Once inflammation becomes chronic, the body begins to break down the gum tissue and bone, ultimately destroying the tissues that support the teeth and hold them in place.
Conventional gum disease treatments include a deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing. This procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from teeth so that the gums can heal and reattach to the teeth. Antimicrobials can be used to address the bacterial infection. In later stages, surgery might be recommended.
More advanced therapies are currently being developed, including bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are a special class of pharmacologic agents that can stimulate bone growth. Researchers have used them in conjunction with scaling and root planing to treat aggressive periodontitis and have had positive results. However, more studies are needed before these treatments can be more widely recommended. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mondavi.
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