Maintaining Healthy Gums after Treatment for Gum Disease - Dr. Colin Richman

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Maintaining Healthy Gums after Treatment for Gum Disease

March 14, 2014

After undergoing gum disease treatment, patients want to lower their chances of a relapse by keeping up good oral hygiene practices to minimize the presence of oral bacteria.

Before discussing what to do after gum disease treatment, however, the periodontist should ensure that the patient understands the procedure being performed to eliminate the periodontal disease.

The specific intervention performed will depend on the patient’s manifestation of the gum disease. In cases of receding gums or pockets that develop between the gums and the teeth, the periodontist will need to supplement the missing gum tissue or reattach it.

One treatment method used to achieve this goal is Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP. Rather than taking donor tissue and grafting it at the site of recession, LANAP aims to regenerate gum tissue. The periodontist uses a laser to remove diseased tissue while simultaneously preserving healthy gum tissue and then seals the pocket.

Because LANAP relies on a laser, the procedure is minimally invasive, although a very brief recovery period can be expected. For a few days after undergoing a LANAP procedure, the patient may need to take care while brushing and flossing at the site. However, disruption to the patient’s normal routine is quite rare.

During the initial treatment planning process, the patient should also work with the periodontist to develop a plan for follow-up and self-care after the intervention is performed. After all, oral bacteria can never be completely eradicated from the mouth, and poor oral hygiene habits can contribute to the initial episode of periodontitis, so it’s important for the patient to stick to a more effective regimen to prevent a recurrence.

Such a plan will reinforce the need for twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. The periodontist may also encourage the patient to add an anti-bacterial mouthwash to the routine as an additional measure of protection.

Patients with a history of periodontitis may also need to get professional cleanings from a dental hygienist more frequently. A typical patient may only need to visit the dentist every six months, but for a patient who has experienced periodontal disease, quarterly cleanings may be recommended.

For more information, contact our skilled team of periodontists today to schedule your professional consultation.

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