Obviously, the first step before treatment is to make a proper diagnosis regarding your periodontal health. The periodontal exam includes making six probing measurements around each tooth in order to determine the pocket depth. Mobility/looseness patterns of the tooth are evaluated. The periodontist observes the spacing of the teeth as well as something called furcal invasions. Furcations are the areas in between the roots of the same tooth, and bone loss in these areas can be quite detrimental to the long term prognosis of that tooth. The positioning of the gums with regard to recession is measured as well. Certainly, one should include an oral evaluation for the possibility of oral cancer.
Treatment can vary widely depending on the status of the periodontal destruction. If there is minimal loss of attachment between the gum and tooth and/or bone loss, sometimes simple procedures such as scaling and root planing, which is the removal of plaque and calculus from below the gum line will eliminate the problem. If, on the other hand, the destruction has advanced to the point where the periodontal pockets are too deep, scaling and root planing alone may be insufficient. Sometimes surgery to eliminate the pockets as well as surgery to regenerate bone is necessary. Regardless of the situation, our goal will be to return you to good oral health so that you can function as normally as possible, and we will then help you to maintain that condition for a lifetime.