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As a follow up to yesterday, I am going to outline what I have found works best in my holistic dental practice to treat periodontal disease. I see a lot of health conscious people in my practice, but when it comes down to it, who isn’t interested in being healthier? It is just a matter of education and presenting the right choices and options.

There have been quite a few patients I have seen with bleeding gums and sore gums that had gingivitis or gum disease. They had been told they needed gum surgery and came to me as a last resort, to see how I could help them avoid this expensive and painful treatment. If you know someone who has had gum surgery, they will tell you that they will never do it again. It is not fun.

 What I have found works best is to first lower the inflammation in the gums, because on a simple level gum disease is an inflammatory process that usually goes unchecked for months and years. To do this I use special rinses in the office and a gel treatment that both feeds the gums directly and lowers inflammation by safely removing and killing bacteria. I also have patients do specific things at home to accomplish the same thing. These are things that anyone can do. They are not hard but very necessary to cause healing to take place. This is one of the approaches I employ in my San Diego holistic dental practice.

Once the inflammation and resulting pain has improved, I find that everything goes better from that point on. Deep cleanings and other treatment go easier, are less painful and have a more dramatic effect on the improvement of the gums. In other words once the inflammation is down and the right home care is in place, the amount of treatment necessary to heal gum disease tends to be much less. 

So back to actual cases; after the gel treatment I did an overall cleaning and a fine cleaning 2-3 weeks later to follow up. How gum disease is categorized is by measuring the gap between the tooth and gum. If it is between 4-6 mm then you have moderate gum disease. What happens in almost every case in my office is that most of the pocketing resolves with simple cleanings. However, there are usually areas that are more resistant and need more treatment. That is when I either do deep cleaning or laser periodontal treatment.

By this time there has already been a significant improvement in the overall health and pocketing of the gums. This makes the deep cleanings and laser treatment simpler, cheaper and more effective as well. Also, if the gums aren’t all inflamed and sensitive, it won’t hurt as much. It can make a significant difference. 

Basically the approach is to progress from the simple to the more complex, building on the success and improvement already achieved. The difference is that most offices treating periodontitis start with deep cleanings, and we employ it at the end when it will have a much greater impact on the healing of the gums.

The results I have seen using the approach described above is that patients who were facing gum surgery totally healed and their pockets improved from 4-6 mm to 2-3 mm which is considered normal. They are happy to say the least, as they did not have to face expensive and painful surgery. I am always amazed at the healing capacity of the body, even the gums. As always, the earlier you treat gum problems the better.