Managing periodontitis is more complex, because the inflammation has already invaded below the gum line. You’ll need care from a dentist and home care as well.
- The first step is for a dentist to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. You may need a local anesthetic so you don’t feel pain.
- Next, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. Some people, may need periodontal surgery to fold back gum tissue. Periodontal surgery can also treat deeper pockets of infection.
- Your dentist or periodontist may need to do a procedure called grafting. For that, he takes tissue from one part of your mouth (such as the roof) to replace gum tissue that has eroded, exposing the roots of your teeth.
After treatment, commit to practicing good dental care to reduce your risk of further inflammation and damage. Your dentist or periodontist may recommend more frequent checkups to monitor gum health. Between those visits, brush, floss, and rinse at home to prevent tartar from returning.
Following a healthy diet can help you maintain healthy gums. New research suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the kinds found in fatty fish (herring, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna,) fish oil, and flaxseed, reduces inflammation.
“Periodontitis is a condition that needs to be managed carefully,” Low says. “But with regular periodontal care, [you and your dental team] can keep gums healthy and prevent tooth loss.”