What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an infectious disease resulting in inflammation within the supporting tissues or the teeth. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. After 30 years of age, it is the most common cause of tooth loss. The disease is usually associated with the presence of plaque and calculus. Progression of bone loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur. In addition to plaque/calculus there are co-factors such as genetics, diabetes, smoking, and overall systemic health that contribute to disease severity.

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What is the initial therapy?

  1. Oral Hygiene Therapy (plaque control). Controlling bacterial plaque growth is essential  to the ongoing control of periodontitis. Your plaque control sessions are designed to provide a customized approach to the ongoing elimination of the bacterial plaque.
  1. Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing. Periodontal scaling is a procedure used to remove bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from the roots and the crowns of the teeth. Root planing is a special instrumentation procedure designed to remove the infected layer of root surface, leaving the roots with hard smooth surfaces. For your comfort, this is done with local anesthesia. It is not surgery and is very comparable to common restorative procedures like fillings or crown preparations. It is analogous to having a car detailed versus just having it washed. Immediately following root planing, a laser is used to disinfect the bacterial contaminated pockets and desensitize root surfaces.
  1. Re-evaluation. The results of the Initial Therapy phase and your own plaque control (home care) will be evaluated. Recommendations for further therapy or maintenance will be discussed.


Post-Scaling and Root Planing Instructions

Please read and follow these procedures. They will make you more comfortable and promote optimal healing. 

  1. Care of your mouth: Start brushing, flossing, and continuing your prescribed oral hygiene regimen immediately. Do not “go easy” at first; optimal healing requires you to keep your mouth plaque free. Please use the prescription mouth rinse as directed.
  1. Discomfort: Some discomfort is expected when the anesthesia wears off. Tylenol or Advil will eliminate any discomfort. Sensitivity to cold or touch may temporarily occur. Removing all plaque from the tooth surfaces and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste or gel will usually reduce or eliminate sensitivity in a day or two. Also, rinsing with warm salt water (use 1/4 tsp salt to 8 oz of warm water) can make you more comfortable.
  1. Eating: Your next meal should be soft. Avoid any hard, gritty foods such as peanuts, popcorn, chips, hard bread for the next 3-4 days. Also, it is best to avoid hot, spicy foods and alcohol for at least 24 hours.
  1. Bleeding: Slight bleeding may occur following the procedure. This is not unusual and will stop. If bleeding persists beyond a few hours, please call our office.
  1. Smoking: Please refrain from smoking for 24 hours or longer after scaling and root planing procedures. Tobacco use interferes with healing. Smoking: Please refrain from smoking for 24 hours or longer after scaling and root planing procedures. Tobacco use interferes with healing.
  2. Exercise: Avoid any aerobic activity for the rest of the day; e.g., jogging, tennis, racquetball, anything strenuous. Take it easy.