Gum or periodontal diseases are prevalent and begin with poor oral hygiene. With poor oral hygiene, plaque and tartar deposits start accumulating on the tooth surfaces and lead to bacterial infestation. Once the plaque seeps below the gumline, it makes way for the bacteria to reach the tooth roots. Bacterial growth infects the gums and causes them to recede and pull away from teeth. As a result, one may experience tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is progressive in nature. The first stage is called gingivitis. It is associated with symptoms like red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is a reversible condition and can be easily dealt with regular brushing and flossing. However, if gingivitis is ignored and left untreated, it advances to periodontitis. During this stage, the bacteria starts infecting the gum tissue, underlying bone, and ligaments that support teeth. This is the stage where patients start losing teeth. Periodontitis is not reversible requires surgical treatment. Some common symptoms of periodontal diseases are:
- Change in the appearance of gums. They may appear brown instead of pink.
- Inflamed and tender gums.
- Increased sensitivity towards hot and cold foods and beverages.
- Formation of abscess pockets.
- Facial swelling that extends to the neck.
- Formation of periodontal pockets.
- Persistent foul breath.
- Loose teeth that are ready to fall out.
- Gum recession.
- Drainage from the gums and teeth.
What are the non-surgical treatments for periodontal diseases?
Some patients only require a non-surgical periodontal treatment procedure. Non-surgical procedures help treat mild-moderate cases of periodontal disease.
a) Professional Dental Cleaning
As we know, the accumulation of plaque and tartar leads to bacterial infestation, which gives birth to gum diseases. But it is difficult to remove plaque and tartar deposits only through regular brushing and flossing. This is where professional dental cleaning comes in. A professional dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar deposits from hard to reach areas in the mouth and makes it squeaky clean. Initial stages of gum diseases are treated with professional dental cleaning. You should get a professional dental cleaning twice a year.
b) Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are together called deep cleaning. If the gum disease has progressed from the initial stage to a slightly moderate level, it is treated through scaling and root planing. This procedure is performed under a local anesthetic and removes hardened layers of plaque and tartar from both above and below the gumline. Also, the tooth roots are smoothened to remove rough spots that house bacteria. Clean and smooth tooth surfaces find it easy to attach themselves to the gums.
What are the surgical treatments for periodontal diseases?
When patients don’t respond well to non-surgical procedures, surgical treatment of periodontal disease is performed. Surgical procedures are required when the gum disease has advanced from a mild or moderate stage to an advanced stage.
- a. Pocket Reduction Surgery
Periodontal diseases lead to the formation of gaps between teeth and gums. These pockets house bacteria and provide for their multiplication. As a result, patients experience gum and bone recession which ends in tooth loss. Gum pocket reduction surgery or gingivectomy is performed to remove the periodontal pockets. The gums are lifted back and the plaque and tartar deposits are removed and tooth roots are smoothened. It focuses on limiting the areas where bacteria can hide and re- establishes, stabilizes, and strengthens recessed gums.
- b. Bone Grafting
Periodontal diseases cause a bone recession, which reduces the jawbone density in the affected areas of the mouth and leads to tooth loss. Bone grafting is performed to restore the jawbone density, which is necessary for good oral and overall health. It involves transplanting synthetic bone or healthy bone tissues from a donor area in the body to the recessed or bone-deficient area. Bone grafts also help bone re-grow. This promotes secure attachment of the teeth to the bone and helps in preventing tooth loss.
- c. Soft Tissue Grafting
Soft tissue grafting is performed to treat patients who are suffering from gum recession. Periodontitis or advanced gum diseases lead to gum recession due to which the gums become thin and start detaching themselves from the tooth surfaces. As a result, one may experience exposed tooth roots, tooth loss, sensitivity, and extreme discomfort. Soft tissue grafting involves transplanting healthy tissue from the donor area in your mouth to the recessed or deficient area. It strengthens the recessed gums and fills in places where the tooth roots lie exposed.
We at Inspire Smiles Dental employ the most advanced technology to treat dental ailments with great care and precision. Our entire team is immensely dedicated to looking after our patients’ needs with exceptional compassion and caution. Whether you are looking for dental restorations or cosmetic enhancements, Inspire Smiles Dental is a one-stop for all your dental issues and ailments. Book an appointment with us at 925.833.9500 or visit our office in 7739 Amador Valley Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568.