Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common cause of tooth loss. If you do not take steps to correct the problem, it will only get worse, and eventually it may cause your teeth to decay and become severely damaged. Thankfully, you can treat periodontal disease if you diagnose the problem early. Your dentist can help you treat it using either surgical or non-surgical methods.
You don’t always need to rush into surgery to fix an issue with periodontal disease. The following non-surgical methods may help.
The best place to start with treating periodontal disease is with a deep teeth cleaning. This is something a dentist will do when you visit them for your semi-annual cleaning. This procedure helps prevent tartar and plaque from forming on both your gums and teeth.
Professional cleaning will be much more effective than brushing at home. Your dentist will use tools designed to remove tartar and plaque from your gums and teeth. A deep cleaning helps prevent bacteria growth which will cause more tartar and plaque to form.
Scaling and Root Planing
If a dental cleaning does not remove all the tartar and plaque in your mouth, you can use a procedure known as scaling and root planing. It is not technically surgery, but an anesthetic is used to numb your gums prior to doing it.
Once your mouth is numb, your dentist will scrape away all of the tartar and plaque found below your gum line. Then they will scrape your teeth to remove rough areas on the surface caused by tartar and plaque. Most people have this procedure done when they have a lot of plaque that has hardened underneath their gums.
Once the tartar and plaque have been physically removed from your teeth, your dentist will prescribe you a medication that will treat your periodontal disease. Options include antimicrobial mouthwash designed to kill the bacteria and germs that cause tartar and plaque. For infected or irritated gums, an antibiotic can be used to treat the infection and help it go away.
There are two treatment methods for periodontal disease that involve surgery: tissue and bone grafts and flap surgery.
Tissue and Bone Grafts
A graft procedure can be used to replace the bone and gum tissues that are deteriorating due to periodontal disease. For a bone graft, an artificial or natural bone will be used to help the area of the gums that are damaged, and it will actually help the surrounding bone in the area grow. You can even have a mesh material placed between your gum tissue and the bone to act as a barrier and prevent gum tissue from interfering with bone growth.
For gum tissue loss, a graft of artificial or natural soft tissue can be put into your gums to cover the exposed roots.
Flap surgery is recommended to remove all of the tartar that could be causing inflammation in your gums. As the name of the surgery suggests, the gums are opened up to create a flap that allows your dentist to get under the gums to physically remove the tartar. The gums will be put back so that they form a snug fit, but sometimes the teeth will look longer as a result.
Periodontal disease is definitely a problem to be concerned about. People with periodontal disease can have problems that affect their daily life, such as trouble chewing, gums that bleed easily, and reoccurring pain. Thankfully, taking these steps, along with flossing and brushing regularly, can help prevent this disease from happening to you.
Let University Dental PA know if you are experiencing problems with your gums so you can catch periodontal disease early.