When Gum Disease Comes Back

Gum disease can be treated in a number of ways depending on its severity. For mild cases, nonsurgical treatments like scaling or planing may be used, sometimes in combination with antibiotics. In more advanced cases, you might have to undergo a surgery like pocket reduction surgery (which allows the dentist to scale and plane root material covered by gums) or receive grafts to replace gum tissue or bone that have been destroyed by disease.

While gum disease is treatable, it isn’t completely curable. Without vigilance on the part of the patient, including good oral hygiene practices, it can easily come back.

After receiving treatment for periodontal disease at the Silberg Center, Dr. Silberg will teach you how to and help you keep the disease at bay. Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums, and no matter how diligent you are about cleaning your teeth, plaque will continue to accumulate after your periodontal treatment. Periodontal disease can come back as soon as two to four months after your treatment. That’s why maintenance therapy is important.

During maintenance therapy, which may last for several months after your treatment, you will need to have your teeth checked periodically for plaque buildup and other hidden problems. Maintenance visits may also involve measuring the pockets around your teeth, taking x-rays to examine the condition of the bone beneath your teeth, and assessing of your oral hygiene habits. Your general dentist and Dr. Silberg will work together to determine how often you should have maintenance visits.

Of course, Dr. Silberg and your dentist will do all they can during maintenance therapy to prevent your gum disease from recurring. However, the most important factor in determining whether your gum disease will return or not is you. Brushing your teeth multiple times per day and flossing daily are essential. Your maintenance visits will support and reinforce these good habits.

If your gum disease recurs—and goes unnoticed—you may require more extensive, expensive, or invasive treatments in the future. However, keeping your natural teeth clean, healthy, and functional will allow you to speak, eat, and smile comfortably. If you think you may have gum disease or you’re concerned that your gum disease may be returning after treatment, visit the Pittsburgh periodontist you can trust with your smile, Dr. Mark Silberg. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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