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Dental Hygiene and Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection of the gum tissue and bone that surrounds and supports the teeth.  Because gum disease is often painless, many patients are unaware of any problems until they become severe.  If left untreated, gum disease can progress and the continuing bone loss around the teeth can result in loose teeth and possible tooth loss.

In addition to affecting the mouth, bacteria associated with gum disease can enter your blood stream, gaining access to every organ in your body.  Research suggests that periodontal disease is a major risk factor for several conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Our office takes a progressive approach to treating gum disease and works in close partnership with our patients to achieve a healthy smile.  By thoroughly examining the gums and supporting bone, we can accurately diagnose the presence and severity of gum disease.  If diagnosed, patients with gum disease are treated with the appropriate periodontal therapy according to severity of the disease.

Here are a few of our top FAQ’s regarding periodontal therapy appointments at our practice:

How long will my visit be?

  • Each Perio Therapy (PT) visit is about an hour.

Do I need to take special precautions after my periodontal treatment?

  • Use of warm saltwater rinse will be soothing. Use for two days, 2x day after therapy as desired.
  • You should avoid foods with small seeds and kernels like popcorn and raspberries.
  • It is in your best interest to follow the suggested home care routine that your hygienist has given you.

Will I need to take any medication?

  • You may take ibuprofen following your therapy. However, most patients do not require it.
  • Some patients require an antibiotic to control the disease-causing bacteria, based on the results of your molecular testing if administered.

What is included in each Perio Therapy appointment?

  • Any necessary anesthetic to keep you comfortable
  • Ultrasonic technology to remove bacteria and toxins from the pockets and root surfaces
  • Oral irrigation with a prescription anti-microbial medication delivered into the pockets to reduce the bacteria, aid in the healing process and decrease your post-operative discomfort
  • Customized co-therapy or home care instructions so you can ensure the best healing
  • Monitoring and documentation of your healing at each therapy visit to ensure the best possible results and allow for any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan
  • In the case of bleeding pockets 5mm or greater, for an additional fee, 1mg of minocycline (a powdered antibiotic called Arestin) may be placed in those infected sites to aid in healing

What type of follow up will be required?

  • Six weeks following your last PT appointment, your hygienist will see you for a one hour 6-week perio therapy visit – the most important visit of the entire sequence which includes:
    • Comprehensive periodontal charting
    • Full mouth calculus and stain removal
    • Full mouth biofilm disruption
    • Full mouth polish
    • Oral irrigation with anti-microbial medication
    • Co-therapy coaching
    • Exam by the Doctor

At this appointment your hygienist and dentist will determine your first balance point, usually 10-12 weeks.  Your balance point is the length of time you can go between professional sub-gingival (under the gums) biofilm removal and maintain disease remission, which is the ultimate goal of periodontal therapy.

Providing Traverse City periodontal therapy.

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