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What are the treatment options for chronic periodontitis?

Treatment options for chronic periodontitis include cleaning, scaling, root planing, antibiotics, flap surgery, soft tissue and bone graft surgery, and guided tissue regeneration surgery. Through cleaning and scaling, bacteria and tarter are removed from the teeth and gums. Planing involves smoothing the root surfaces so that tartar cannot attach to it. Antibiotics may be prescribed to completely resolve infection caused by the bacteria and may also be prescribed as a precaution for those individuals with certain types of heart conditions. In many cases, non-surgical techniques combined with good home care will successfully control the condition. For cases of advanced chronic periodontitis, surgery may be recommended.

Vigilance about home oral care increases the long term success of periodontitis treatments. Additionally, nonsmokers respond better to treatments than smokers.
Treatment options for periodontitis begins when your dentist, periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum disease), or dental hygienist thoroughly removes the plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth and caused the infection. This procedure is called scaling and root planing, and if necessary, lasers can be used as well.

You may be prescribed antibiotic medications to control the infection, such as a special mouth rinse; a tiny antibiotic chip, gel, or microsphere, placed in pockets between the teeth and gum; or an antibiotic pill. If these don’t work, surgery may be required.

After your gum disease is treated, you’ll need to follow good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and not smoking, to prevent its recurrence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.