Est. 1998

Periodontal Disease

The periodontist is the dentist who treats periodontal disease after it has gone beyond what you and the hygienist can treat with in-office hygiene therapy and home care. He may be the only one who can help you save your teeth if you have reached that stage. The periodontist can perform the various types of periodontal surgery that may be necessary to remove infected gum tissue, to remove infection from the bone, and to recontour the bone so that you can more easily keep the now more vulnerable gums and teeth clean.

Both your dental hygienist and dentist will monitor your gum disease to determine weather you can keep your teeth and gums clean enough to prevent the disease from advancing without periodontal surgery. Often, once you are practicing proper hygiene, you will find that some areas won’t need surgery at all, and others will need less than first expected. But if you do need periodontal surgery, there are two very important things you should know:

  • You shouldn’t have the surgery done until you have first been given the opportunity to see what you and your hygienist can do to treat the problem. ( Emergency surgery is an exception.) Having your gums as healthy as you can get them before surgery will greatly speed up the after surgery healing.
  • Any periodontal surgery that removes gum tissue and bone also creates food traps that never existed before. Since whatever you did to take care of your teeth before you got gum disease didn’t work, logic says that the same approach to oral hygiene definitely won’t work when you no longer have the natural protection the bone and gums once provided.  If you are going to have periodontal surgery done, you must be willing to establish not only a new attitude toward your oral health but a new oral hygiene program as well.  Surgery may take care of the immediate problems, but you will soon be back where you started – unless you are willing to devote whatever time and energy it takes to keep your gums free of disease.

Your periodontist will give you instructions on home care, and you must follow them to the letter. Both the periodontist and the hygienist will provide you with special preventative aids, such as perio-brushes, perio-picks, and even prescription mouth washes. Make sure you use them religiously.  If you don’t, you can say good-bye to your teeth.