I’ve been undergoing treatment for gum disease for years, why doesn’t it just go away?
Well, it really depends on the treatment that you are receiving. Most general dentists do not do “definitive treatment”. What is definitive treatment? Definitive treatment is any procedure that is meant to reverse periodontal disease and yield results that are likely to significantly improve gum and bone health and make the gums more resistant to further disease. Scaling and root planing is not definitive treatment. I see patients every day that have undergone multiple session of deep scaling, yet their disease is either not getting better or getting worse. The reason for this is that even the best dentist or hygienist can’t adequately clean root surfaces in deep periodontal pockets well enough to reverse the disease process. Osseous surgery, bone grafts, and laser surgery are definitive treatments, and few general dentists do these procedures. These are the types of procedures that can grow back bone that’s been lost and yield new gum attachment that is more resistant to bacteria that cause gum disease. While there is no cure for gum disease, there are very few cases where it cannot be controlled to the point where teeth are not in danger of being lost. To be sure, scaling and root planing is better than doing nothing, and it is indicated in more minor periodontal disease, but it often leads to nothing more than a slowing down of the disease in moderate and severe periodontitis. At our office, we primarily perform FDA recognized laser periodontal therapy that yields regeneration of the periodontal tissues. We are able to do this with no more discomfort than standard scaling and root planing. The process is also less expensive than standard osseous surgery with bone grafts. If you have been on the periodontal merry-go-round for years with less than optimal gum health, come in and let us develop a plan to get you off of that ride and on the road to truly healthy gums.