Contrary to the popular belief, periodontal diseases, not tooth decay, are the main cause of adult tooth loss. These diseases, caused by bacterial infection in the gums, ligaments and bones, can be cured quite easily by periodontal therapy. Although painless, periodontal diseases can occur at any age and the progress of the diseases differs from person to person.
Periodontium is the name for the specialized tissues which surround and support a tooth. The periodontium helps maintain the tooth’s position on the maxillary, or mustache bone, and the mandibular or inferior maxillary bone. The four tissues that make up the tissue are alveolar bone, cementum, gingiva or gums and periodontal ligament. Periodontics is a dental subject that deals specifically with the care and maintenance of periodontium.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
Also called conventional periodontal therapy, this kind of treatment is essential for the removal of dental plaque and calculus. The elimination of the inflammation-causing etiologic agents will control bacterial growth that encourages gum diseases. When gum diseases are diagnosed in the early stages, periodontal treatment, by itself, might cure the problem. If the diseases is at an advanced stage, one might require to undergo certain other procedures before the therapy such as, substituting worn out filling and crowns with overhanging margins. The margins will help in accumulating the plaque.
There are three forms of cleaning treatments include:
- Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)- Periodontal scaling process includes elimination of stain, plaque and calculus from the crown and below. Root planing involves removal of rough cementum and surface dentin that in embedded in the calculus.
- Antibiotics – An adjunctive cleaning option to the former, antibiotics in the pill form can be consumed to control bacterial growth. An antibiotic powder or an anti-bacterial mouthwash can also be effective in eliminating germs.
Laser in Periodontal Therapy
Lasers are increasingly being used for the purpose of periodontal therapy. Lasers are used as an additional treatment SRP in order to improve the efficacy of the procedure. Lasers, when used as an adjunct to the non-surgical periodontal therapy, causes less bleeding or swelling; thereby, making the treatment process less painful and uncomfortable for the patient.
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