Thomas & Associates : Periodontal Therapy
Our goal through our periodontal therapy program is to prevent gum disease from progressing to the point of tooth loss. Regular visits for cleaning and check-ups put you at a great advantage. Dr. Thomas will perform your periodontal examination during your annual check-up. By creating a periodontal chart, we identify signs of gum disease at their earliest stage, when targeted treatment and careful hygiene are most effective.
Our therapy program is a three-step process.
During your exam, your dentist uses a periodontal probe to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. Any bleeding or pockets that measure deeper than three millimeters may indicate early stages of periodontal disease.
- Gingivitis: The first stage of periodontal disease in which plaque and its toxic by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
- Periodontitis: Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar) and causes the gums to begin receding from the teeth. As pockets deepen between the gums and teeth, bacteria and pus may become evident and gums become irritated and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
- Advanced Periodontitis: The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament deteriorate. Without treatment, tooth loss will likely occur.
In early stages, periodontal disease is easily treated with regular professional cleanings and careful home care of your teeth and gums. Because no permanent damage has occurred, your dentist can give you specific instructions on brushing and flossing and you should be able to quickly restore your healthy smile.
It is important to understand the periodontal disease progresses if left untreated. When plaque and tartar build up, the damage to the gums can eventually lead to damage to the bone that supports the teeth.
When gum disease has progressed to these advance stages, your dentist will recommend deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planing. Tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line and rough spots on root surfaces are smoothed. While gum tissue is healing, medication, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and promote shrinking of the pockets around the teeth.
In some cases, the pocket depths are not reduced enough through deep cleaning, and periodontal surgery may be needed. Dr. Thomas will evaluate your situation thoroughly and advise you as to the best treatment, including a referral to a periodontist if necessary.
The most important step you can take toward healthy teeth and gums is to evaluate your daily hygienic habits. It takes only twenty-four hours for plaque left on your teeth to harden into calculus (tartar). After a routine cleaning or a deep cleaning, Dr. Thomas will suggest the best methods for you to keep your teeth and gums clear of plaque and tartar so that gums can heal and stay healthy. If you have received a deep cleaning, you may be scheduled for additional work as frequently as 4 times annually to be sure your gum disease has reversed.
For early stage cases, regular cleaning every six months are usually recommended. You may be advised to purchase an electric tooth brush to get a more thorough cleaning along the gum line. Careful brushing and daily flossing will help a lot, but it’s important to realize that those hard to reach areas will always need special attention by a professional.
If you are concerned about gum disease in North Canton or the surrounding area, or if you would like to schedule a periodontal exam in Canton, Massillon or throughout Stark County, contact Thomas & Associates.