Periodontal Disease Treatment, San Diego CA

Dr. Hunt believes in using a comprehensive program to manage periodontal disease. This involves an approach that combats the disease from every angle.

Stopping Disease Progression

  • Manual removal of bacteria from under the gum line is the key to successful periodontal treatment. Bacteria in pockets can be cleaned out with a Scaling and Root Planing, otherwise known as a deep cleaning, completed in our office with local anesthesia. Teeth are scaled to remove plaque and tartar deposits below the gum line. Roots are planed to smooth the root surface allowing gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. This usually entails 2 visits with half of the mouth cleaned at each visit and then a re-evaluation 1 month later to see how the tissue responded.
  • Systemic antibiotic therapy can help boost patients immune systems to respond to bacteria. Patients with identifiable risk factors are more prone to developing destructive gum disease. Patients with these risk factors may benefit from a ten-day round of 2 antibiotics in combination with a deep cleaning making gums and tissue more resistant to breakdown by the bacteria. In select cases, antibiotics can be placed directly into infected pockets, possibly eliminating the need for aggressive treatment.

Patients typically can go about their normal daily activities after such treatment. Some patients may experience some gum tenderness which can be avoided by taking a dose of Ibuprofen prior to leaving the office. In areas of extreme inflammation, the gum will shrink back once the infection is eliminated. This shrinkage may lead to a change in contour of the gum line and sometimes to a temporary increase in sensitivity to hot or cold.

Regenerating bone and periodontal ligaments that have been destroyed

When deep pockets between gums and teeth persist, it is difficult for Dr Hunt to thoroughly remove plaque, tartar and scar tissue from below the gum line. Likewise, patients are also unable to keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health. Technology exists which allows the bone that has been lost due to gum disease to be regenerated. Granules of demineralized bone graft material can be placed into a pocket. This then stimulates your bone cells to lay down more of your own bone in your jaw to create a stable base for your teeth. These techniques are used around strategically important teeth for which repair of the bone is essential for continued function.

Reducing the likelihood of disease recurrence and progression

Once the bacteria are removed and the infection is stopped, we will design a personalized plan that will help you manage your disease process and lessen your likelihood of future re-infection.

  • Research shows that periodontal disease is less likely to recur when patients are placed on quarterly cleaning schedules. Periodontal Maintenance cleanings, as they are called, differ from general cleanings because they involve cleaning below the gum line as well as re-evaluating gum tissue for areas of concern. Periodontal Maintenance cleanings are not meant to be deep cleanings again but are meant to supplement what patients are doing at home by cleaning where toothbrushes and floss cannot reach. These quarterly visits also give us a chance to give patients feedback regarding how they are doing on a daily basis and to encourage them to make positive changes to take control of their periodontal health. As patients periodontal conditions improve, their cleaning schedules may be adjusted to a lesser frequency. But, patients should always receive Periodontal Maintenance cleanings from that point on as they have a periodontal history and are always at risk of recurrence.
  • A patient’s home oral hygiene routine is as important as, if not more important than, the quarterly cleanings. At each of your first few visits, we will slowly teach you easy and more effective ways to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. When done as a daily routine, your home program can keep tartar and bacteria from building up long enough to prevent the recurrence of periodontal disease.