Gum disease is a condition that seems to plague a good number of people, but most especially those who are advanced in age.
It is also said to be a silent killer, spawning certain types of heart disease.
However, the question is, is there even a way to prevent it, given its propensity?
It is said that over thirty million people have this condition. Causes for this range from poor dental hygiene or lack of hydration to other, more systemic conditions such as diabetes.
What are your treatment options, then?
Of course, preventive care must include regular (and proper) brushing and flossing of the teeth.
But if you are already afflicted with gum disease, then you may be presented with both surgical and non-surgical treatment options by your dentist or periodontist.
In either case, it is important to do what you can do keep your own natural teeth – if at all possible.
When it comes to non-surgical treatments, the American Academy of Periodontics guidelines stress that periodontal treatment should be accomplished in the least invasive but most cost-effective manner.
So, the most common treatment would be scaling and root planing followed by adjunctive therapy.
Scaling and root planing are terms used for separate procedures to scale, or strip-off the tartar from the teeth and plane, or clean and smooth the exposed root surfaces using hand instruments.
The purpose of each is to remove debris and bacteria-laden tartar, but also to smooth the tooth surfaces so that plaque has a harder time of adhering in the future.
After scaling and root planing, most patients do not require additional, intensive therapy.
However, because of its limitations, there may be a need for some patients to undergo surgical treatments.
Surgical treatments would involve pocket reduction procedures, regenerative procedures, crown lengthening and bone or soft tissue grafts.
Of course, these types of procedures will be much more costly but could be a necessary measure in order to prevent the disease from further spreading and branching off into other complications.
Protect yourself from periodontal disease and ensure your dental insurance policy covers all aspects of periodontal treatment, so you won’t have to bear the cost of treatment that could save your precious teeth.
*Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not intend to advise upon, diagnose or treat any health problem whatsoever. If you have or think you might have a health problem, visit your doctor or dentist for advice, diagnosis and treatment.