After you’ve experienced one bout of gum disease, you do face a significant risk of subsequent episodes. Therefore, patients who have previously had periodontal disease should be monitored by a periodontist on an ongoing basis for signs of a relapse. This maintenance therapy can help to preserve your smile.
When you have periodontal appointments on a regular basis, those appointments give the periodontist more opportunities to identify any minor symptoms that indicate an early stage of gum disease that may be more readily treatable. Additionally, those symptoms won’t have as much time to advance if you have check-ups at regular, relatively brief intervals.
If you do experience a relapse, getting prompt gum disease treatment can help to prevent serious consequences like tooth and bone loss. Furthermore, the earliest stages of gum disease tend to respond to less invasive interventions than those required for the condition’s most advanced forms.
Non-surgical gum disease treatment can be used to manage issues like gingivitis, in which some symptoms are present but they are relatively mild. These interventions include root planing and scaling, in which the area between the gum and the tooth is cleaned thoroughly to remove all disease-causing bacteria.
Antibiotic therapy may also be recommended for patients with early-stage gum disease, again to reduce the presence of the oral bacteria that cause inflammation.
Surgical interventions, such as pocket depth reduction or guided tissue regeneration, may be indicated in more severe cases of periodontitis, such as those in which pockets have formed between the gums and the teeth or in which the gum tissue has begun to recede or some bone loss has already occurred.
In addition to being under a periodontist’s care, you should also monitor your own gums for symptoms like redness, swelling, puffiness or bleeding, which may indicate a relapse. If you notice any of these, schedule a session with your periodontal specialist for a professional evaluation.
If you have already fought one battle with gum disease and want to reduce your risk of a recurrence, contact our team at PerioNYC to schedule a follow-up appointment and develop a plan for ongoing care.